South Australia’s 28,000 teachers have been offered a 2.35 per cent pay rise for each of the next five years, with Treasurer Rob Lucas describing it as “exceptionally fair and reasonable”.

The offer will cost the government $699 million as it seeks to build and retain an expert teaching workforce.

“The government’s offer is the culmination of extensive and productive discussion with the union and recognises the important work of our state’s teachers, principals and support staff in education and developing our next generation,” Mr Lucas said on Friday.

The government’s proposal also earmarks $45 million over four years of additional support for schools identified as having high levels of complexity.

An additional $13 million will be used to create new positions for highly-accomplished and lead teachers, while $4.3 million will go to attracting and retaining teachers in country schools.

But the government has rejected calls from the Australian Education Union for a 3.5 per cent interim pay increase and other improvements to working conditions.

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“South Australian taxpayers simply can’t afford those type of extravagant claims,” Mr Lucas said.

“The government has budgeted for reasonable wage increases and this offer is consistent with this budget.”

AAP

Mix 102.3 Adelaide