The Australian Education Union has a great document outlining what different state governments pay their teachers. Queensland’s 2013 public school graduate teachers started at $58,437, and its most experienced senior teachers will this year earn $85,557. In NSW, graduates are on $59,706, while top teachers earn $89,050. The Northern Territory offers $62,017 to graduates and $114,737 to specialist teachers (top standard classroom teachers earn a maximum of $88,941). The ACT pays $58,041 to its grads and $86,881 to its top teachers. South Australian teachers start on $59,629 and earn up to $85,999, although additional training can bump that up to $89,201. Down in Tasmania, graduates earn $57,565, with the highest paid teachers on $84,184. In Victoria, graduates this year started on $60,220, and top “leading teachers” earn $94,408. The latest Victorian pay agreement will result in teachers earning an extra 16.1% to 20.5% over three years.
“You don’t even get paid well [as a graduate] because you’re on contract the first five years,” noted Blackman. Graduate teachers often struggle to secure a permanent role, and according to the Productivity Commission, last year, 20% of primary school teachers and 13% of secondary school teachers were on fixed-term contracts. This means they are not paid for summer school holidays, as the contracts run just for the school year.