Education minister clashes with opposition parties over fundraising, public wage cap

(New South Wales) The first debate between two women vying for the position of Minister of Education in New South Wales is about funding the sector, raising teacher salaries and differences in how to deal with supply issues. characterized by

Opposition Education Minister Prooker has made it clear that if the Labor Party is elected, it will remove the public sector wage cap and replace it with a bargaining system.

At an education debate at the Center for Independent Studies on March 14, Carr said teachers should be able to negotiate pay increases “as opposed to the arbitrary caps that politicians impose on them under the law.” said.

She claimed teachers were “fleeing NSW and going to other states where they could be properly paid for their work”, but did not provide any statistics or evidence to support her claims. bottom.

In response, New South Wales Minister Sarah Mitchell said the opposition would not cut how much or how much teachers would be paid, how the Labor government would pay for it, and what else would be cut. He said he was concerned that the opposition had yet to release figures on whether to do so. money job.

What usually happens during the industrial relations process is that the government “has to put the parameters on the table,” she said.

“So we have to go through the process through the Cabinet. So this is the scope and this is what we are ready to negotiate,” Mitchell said.

“But as a government, we cannot go into the industrial relations process without knowing what our parameters will be.”

“We can’t just leave it to the IRC[Industrial Relations Commission]or the trade unions. We have to take a position as a government. If it’s in two weeks, it’s the first thing. What are the parameters?”

Mr Carr responded that Labor was “not in a position to set limits right now”.

“I have an answer, and just because the minister doesn’t like the answer doesn’t mean it’s not the answer. It’s the answer.”

Mr Mitchell said that while public sector workers in NSW have enjoyed the highest wage increases of all states, opposition allegations of uncompetitive salaries and overburdening ” It is a union route,” he said.

“And I think it’s a very big black hole in their policy. Given that the election is next weekend, it really deserves an explanation.”

“We know nothing happened in the past when unions controlled the purse strings. I couldn’t do it either.”

“They (Labour) are happy to give you a word to get elected and we’ll work out the details later.

In a statement to the Epoch Times, the NSW Teachers Federation said: This is the main reason why the number of people studying to become teachers has plummeted. ”

How much is enough for education?

Education funding is another topic at the forefront of both parties’ policies, with Labor’s budget significantly smaller than the Coalition’s.

Mitchell announced early years commitments of $15.9 billion (US$10.64 billion) over the next ten years. It focuses on expanding pre-primary education capacity, making essential early childhood education and care his services affordable, improving service quality, and investing in the workforce.

Meanwhile, Kerr announced a $400 million plan for the education sector. She said this would be a “permanent tutoring commitment” as she criticized the coalition’s plans as a “cash splash.”

“We have record levels of debt and we have to choose whether we can really afford this. And that is what we have in this election, the tough choice,” she said. said.

“We believe we should be the norm for parents and teachers in NSW.”

“We don’t fund everything for everyone. In fact, the government professes to be everything for everyone when it comes to ministers. We fear that we will not be able to finance this without borrowing or privatizing, and we are making choices.”

The minister argued that Labor’s plan was not sufficient to help children who needed it and was “not really evidence-based”.

“We’re putting in $50 million a year, or $250 million this year alone,” she said.

“We’re happy to see a program that works, but we need an evidence base to inform those decisions, rather than just picking a number and saying it helps.”

Meanwhile, 2021 NAPLAN data show that despite millions of dollars being invested in the education sector each year, student performance continues to decline, with 5-9% of students failing in reading and mathematics. Does not meet NAPLAN minimum standards of competence.