Guide to Entitlements for Educators Working in Remote Communities
What are the hip pocket incentives?
Working in a designated remote school comes with a number of financial incentives. These are dependent on your category of remoteness and are governed by industrial agreements like the NTPS Teacher and Assistant Teachers’ 2017-2021 Enterprise Agreement and instruments issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment.
The Remote Incentive Allowance is included in your fortnightly salary and is paid on a pro rata basis for part time employees. A Remote Retention Payment is paid annually on completion of 12 months continuous service in a remote locality (see table below).
|Remote Payments ($/pa)||Special Cat||Category 1||Category 2||Category 3|
|Remote Incentive Allowance (RIA) (single)||$1242||$4131||$4821||$7577|
|RIA (with dependents)||$1549||$5041||$5880||$9239|
|Annual Remote Retention Payment||n/a||$500||$750||$1000|
Are there other reasons to work remote?
The AEU has worked to ensure that teachers receive additional benefits for working in isolated areas. These include:
- Rental concessions of up to 100% for teachers living in Government Employee Housing.
- Guaranteed Transfers to Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs or Katherine after three years of remote service.
- Fares Out of Isolated Localities (FOILS) are paid travel allowances out of remote communities. You receive two or three FOILS per year depending on where you teach.
- Up to four Business Days per year for travel to regional centres to access services not available in remote settings.
- Special Study Leave program that operates based on accruing points for each period of service in a remote locality. A minimum of 20 points is required to apply for study leave. An employee in a Category 3 locality accumulates 5 points per year and will be eligible to apply after four years of continuous service. For employees in Category 1 and 2 schools, additional service is required.
A few things to be aware of...
- Check your pay slip! Make sure you are being paid the correct allowances based on your circumstances. We have dealt with numerous cases of members being forced to repay thousands of dollars because they were being paid allowances they weren’t entitled to. Conversely, some employees are being underpaid because of administrative errors.
- Check your pay slip (part 2!) after each 12 months of continuous service to ensure you have been paid your remote retention bonus.
- Housing eligibility: there are conditions attached to your housing provision such as maintenance of the house and yard. Ensure you comply with lease obligations or you may be billed for cleaning and other costs when you leave. It is also in your interest to ensure that regular inspections of your house are carried out to raise any concerns about needed repairs.
- Cultural awareness: most remote deployments involve living and working in an Indigenous community. This can cause stresses such as culture shock, loneliness and depression. Your school should ensure you are provided with appropriate cultural induction training and courses.
- Your personal health and wellbeing are important. Make use of your entitlement to employer-funded counselling services and follow the advice of medical professionals.
Download this advice as a factsheet