School Psychologists Update - Public Service Association

School Psychologists Update

This bulletin contains an industrial update for PSA School Psychologist members.

Teachers’pay-rise creates pay disparity between School Counsellors and School Psychologists

The PSA is aware of the serious implications for School Psychologists, of the government’s recent decision to award a substantial pay-rise to NSW Teaching Service roles from Term 4/October 2023; and in-so-doing, creating salary disparity between School Counsellors (SC) and School Psychologists (SP), as well as differential pay between Teaching Service classifications of SPE and LPP roles and their Public Service classification counterparts.

We note that the decision represents a major departure from the department’s custom and practice since 2015, and its published commitment in Award negotiations to maintain pay parity between the Schools Wellbeing Service roles of both classifications. We will be communicating this to the government.

We share your frustration about this decision, but the fault sits squarely with the Department, not the PSA, who has expended a significant amount of time and resources, advocating on behalf of School Psychologists…and we are not about to stop now.

The PSA understands that you are not only upset with the government’s decision disregarding School Psychologists but also your employer’s insensitivity, when publishing notification on the intranet of Salary changes for School Counsellors, being careful to point out that the pay increases are not applicable to School Psychologists.  It is especially pointed and tiresome after PSA staff and your delegates, have spent the past two years in negotiations and making representations, to ensure your pay-rises were awarded, and to gain certainty of salary progression through the Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award, made this year.

What next?

The PSA met with the NSW government last week and expressed our disappointment at being blindsided by this decision and to seek an urgent audience with the Education Minister’s Chief of Staff concerning the matter. The government undertook to arrange this meeting as soon as possible after the NSW Budget is announced. We will have your delegates in attendance at that meeting. We also have a legal conference later this week to consider our options.

The PSA intends to hold the department to its commitment to ongoing pay parity. Please be encouraged that the PSA has fought hard on behalf of our School Psychologist members to date and will continue to do so.  We will keep you updated on our discussions with the government and the department in relation to this important matter as it progresses.

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