PUBLIC school teachers should receive salary increases of between 10 and 15 per cent over the next two years, says an independent inquiry into the changing nature of the profession.
The subsequent report, Valuing the Teaching Profession - an independent inquiry, made 12 recommendations about salaries and working conditions to address what the NSW Teachers Federation said was a "crisis", caused by escalating workloads and teacher shortages.
"At the same time as these increases in work, complexity and responsibility there has been a decline in the relative position of teacher salaries alongside that of other professions and a reduced attractiveness of public sector teaching as a career; this being a contradiction that needs urgent attention by way of a significant upgrade in teacher salaries and an improvement in career options," the report said.
The federation commissioned the inquiry, the first of its kind since 2004. Former Western Australian Premier Dr Geoff Gallop chaired it.
Federation regional organiser Jack Galvin Waight said the pandemic had highlighted the value of teaching.
He said Hunter parents understood teachers needed more time and resources for teaching and learning.
"The findings of the independent inquiry are damning on the state government and highlights that there is a crisis in the profession - a crisis that teachers in the Hunter are living and dealing with every day," he said.
"The key findings show teacher shortages, including large casual teacher shortages in the Upper Hunter and a terrible lack of workforce planning in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
"Excessive workload demands, with teachers in the Hunter now having two jobs, teaching and unsustainable administrative and paper work duties.
"Unacceptable salaries, salaries for teachers simply haven't kept pace with other professions and teachers in other countries.
"This means that it has become increasing difficult to attract and retrain teachers which will be exasperated by a predicted 25 per cent increase in student enrolments over the next 15 years."
The inquiry's recommendations included salary increases of 10 to 15 per cent over the next two years; an additional two hours per week to prepare lessons and collaborate with colleagues; lifting counsellor numbers to one to 500 students by 2023; and permanent staffing to overcome the widespread shortage of casual teachers.
Other recommendations were that NAPLAN be redesigned on a random survey basis, rather than a census testing and reporting basis; and the scrapping of the government's plan to introduce a whole new curriculum by 2024.
It said introduction should start in 2022 and only if teachers were provided with more time and support and administration workloads were reduced.
Mr Galvin Waight said investing in teachers "directly correlates to the quality of education our students receive".