Tas Labor stalls on teacher salaries
By Alex Bainbridge
HOBART — The state branch of the Australian Education Union has called on the government to implement its pre-election promise to introduce a "salary nexus" between teachers in Tasmania and the rest of Australia. The union has threatened industrial action early next year and warned of a possible teacher shortage if the promise is not met.
The AEU and the Labor opposition signed an agreement in August 1998, before the state election won by Labor. The agreement committed Labor, "immediately on coming into government, [to] enter into negotiations with the AEU to establish a salary nexus between Tasmanian and mainland" teachers.
This would ensure that Tasmanian teachers' salaries remained at least on par with teachers in other Australian states. The agreement recognised that Tasmanian salaries would have to be at least as good as they were on May 28, 1998 (after the last pay rise) relative to other states.
The agreement expired on November 30, leaving open the option of legal industrial action by the AEU.