School Psychologist Salaries Award update - Public Service Association

School Psychologist Salaries Award update

For several years the PSA has advocated for an award to provide certainty of salaries, salary progression and pay rises for School Psychologists.  We have also argued for the department to provide AHPRA-approved professional supervision and for the right to negotiate commencing salary based on previous experience.

On 24 May 2023, the Industrial Relations Commission handed down its decision to make the award, known as the Crown Employees (School Psychologists – Department of Education) Salaries Award 2022 and to confirm your pay rises. Your delegates have been tireless in their commitment and effort to achieve this outcome, including giving evidence in the Commission.

On 6 June 2023, following the parties preparing an award which gave effect to the Commission’s decision, the Commission made the award.

The PSA wrote to the Department of Education Secretary on the day of the award was made, to ensure that your overdue pay-rises are paid as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the award to be formally published on the Commission’s website. The PSA has confirmed that you will be paid your increased salary and back pay in the next pay period (by 22 June 2023).

The new award is retrospective commencing from 1 January 2022 and the following pay rises will be administered:

  • An increase of 0.25 per cent which will be backdated to the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022
  • An increase of 3.0 per cent, made up of an increase of 2.53 per cent in salaries and 0.5 per cent increase to the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution, from the first full pay period on or after 1 January 2023.

Note: These increases are on top of the 2.04 per cent increase from 1 January 2022.

New classification – Leader, Psychology Practice (GSE)

The new award includes a new GSE classification, Leader, Psychology Practice opening up the role to those without a teaching qualification. This classification will provide a promotional pathway for school psychologists, in addition to the senior psychologist education classification.

General Registration recognised in Salary Progression from Band 1 to Band 2

The PSA fought hard for higher salary recognition upon attainment of General Registration. A school psychologist will now progress from Band 1 to Band 2 after completing a minimum of 12 months service at Band 1, so long as they have attained General Registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. For those school psychologists who have 12 months of service at Band 1 but do not have General Registration, the new award provides for progression to Band 2 from the first full pay period after the school psychologist has attained General Registration.

The Department will contact all eligible Band 1 employees to advise of their progression to the Band 2 salary.

Formal consultative arrangements for School Psychologists

Quarterly formal consultative meetings have commenced with Employee Relations, concerning matters of concern to School Psychologists. A PSA delegate attends these meetings with PSA staff to raise and discuss matters of concern on your behalf. At the meeting on 7 June 2023, the PSA raised that we wish to work with the department to develop a flexible working arrangements policy, to support working from home outside of core hours, within bandwidth, in circumstances where the employee would otherwise be alone onsite at the school. The department will consider this proposal in accordance with operational requirements and the flexible working hours agreement, together with the usual risk assessment procedures. The PSA plans to conduct a survey of members to establish the prevalence of working alone onsite at schools when other staff have gone home. Currently working from home is only being approved in the school holidays or on an ad hoc inconsistent basis.

New government in NSW

On 5 June 2023, PSA staff and delegates met with the new Education Minister, Prue Car at PSA House and met with the Acting Secretary of the Department of Education the following day. After these meetings, it’s clear that there is a commitment from the leadership for a fresh start and to make significant changes across the public sector. The new government is determined to establish a permanent, well-resourced, and highly qualified Education workforce, starting with the conversion of 16,000 roles from temporary to ongoing. Both the Minister and Secretary recognized the need for attraction and retention of qualified professional staff, and the need to address the over-reliance on a temporary insecure workforce held back by the unfair wages cap. The Minister declared that she has an open door to the PSA and recognized our shared values. She declared that we will always have a place at the table. If issues are not progressing with the Department, we will have a direct line of communication with the government. This is exactly the message that we hoped to hear from a new government and rest assured, we will be making the most of the opportunity to advocate for our members to improve their working lives and for recognition of the highly valued jobs that they do.


Related Posts

Back To Top