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Phoebe Loomes

NSW teachers unions to hold joint meetings

NSW Teachers Federation head Angelo Gavrielatos says the government pay offer is a "studied insult". (AAP)

The two unions representing teachers across NSW are poised to hold joint extraordinary meetings, after one union boss called a recent pay rise offer from the premier a "studied insult".

It follows thousands of teachers striking and engaging in industrial action in recent months, as they campaign for improved conditions and better pay.

The meetings of the executives from the NSW Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union NSW/ACT (IEU), who represent public school teachers and Catholic and non-government school teachers, is being held on Tuesday afternoon.

The meetings will take place simultaneously to determine a course of action, with the outcome to be communicated to members afterwards.

On Tuesday the NSW Department of Education filed a lawsuit against the NSW Teachers Federation over strike action taken in May, accusing the union of breaching orders made by the Fair Work Commission.

"Last Monday's announcement by the premier (Dominic Perrottet) regarding public sector salaries remains nothing more than a studied insult," NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos wrote on Twitter on Monday.

"(The) revised wage cap of 3 per cent represents a real pay cut for teachers and principals."

Earlier this month Mr Perrottet flagged the three per cent wages boost for public sector workers over the financial year, and another 3.5 per cent raise the following year dependent on productivity gains.

The rise would take wages above a 2.5 per cent cap imposed in 2011.

It followed a series of strikes and industrial action over pay and conditions from teachers, nurses, paramedics and other government workers.

However, the offer fell short of demands from the Teachers Federation of a lift in wages of 7.5 per cent.

Mr Gavrielatos said the offer would lead to a worsening teacher shortage with fewer people entering the profession.

"The NSW government knows that the salaries of teachers are not attractive to those considering entering the profession," he said.

"We have a profession in crisis."

Treasurer Matt Kean defended the pay offer, calling it fair and sustainable in the current economic climate.

The treasurer said unemployment was as its lowest on record and competitive wages would retain talent.

The increase in wages could be funded by expected economic growth.

Labor Education spokesperson Prue Car said the two teachers' unions holding simultaneous meetings was a sign of how dire the teacher shortage had become.

"Teachers have tried to warn the government about the growing teacher shortages for years, whilst the NSW Liberal National government has failed to act," Ms Car said.

"Now we have a situation where students are experiencing more disruption, more merged classes and more lessons without teachers.

"This is the last thing we want, particularly at a time when outcomes are declining and COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to learning."

Ms Car called on the government to listen to teachers, principals and parents.

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