Most EAs begin their career by undertaking relief work first. Once you have proved yourself to the school, they will hopefully offer you more permanent work when a position becomes available:
Education assistants are employed by either a state government (education department) or an independent employer (such as an independent school). Because of this the amount that EAs can earn and the conditions of employment will vary from one school to another.
Most education assistants come under an enterprise agreement. This is a document normally negotiated between the relevant union (representing the workers) and the organisation (such as the education department). The enterprise agreement sets out pay rates, allowances, leave and a range of rules such as the process for redundancy, right to training and certain types of leave such as cultural leave.
One important aspect of most agreements are the pay scales. EAs, like teachers and principals, are paid based on the amount of experience they have. For example, each year of FTE (full time equivalent) experience you have, your pay will be slightly higher (to a limit). This is usually referred to as a tiered pay scale. The purpose of this system is to reward experience and a higher level of expertise and to motive experienced staff to continue their employment the following year.
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