Valley teacher pay rise in sight 

Latrobe Valley public school teachers are set to receive hard-fought pay rises this year, after one of the most drawn out industrial disputes in recent history drew to a symbolic close yesterday.

Australian Education Union Gippsland region organiser Jeff Gray said union council had voted in favour of an agreement offered by the State Government about 4pm yesterday.

Under the proposed agreement, teachers will receive between 16.1 and 20.5 per cent salary increases by 2016, with an immediate $1000 bonus upon the signing of the agreement.

The in-principle agreement, which Mr Gray said featured some concessions from both parties, brings to an end an 18-month dispute, which saw numerous teacher strikes across Latrobe Valley’s public school system.

“I think it’s been our hardest fought campaign since Jeff Kennet was premier; it’s certainly been the most difficult and challenging to resolve since then,” Mr Gray said.

He said negotiations appeared to develop momentum soon after Denis Napthine replaced Ted Baillieu as premier.

Mr Gray said AEU would hold meetings across the region at the end of the month, in which delegates from the region’s schools would vote whether to accept the proposal.

This is a process he expected to conclude by early to mid-May.