A report into job security at NSW public schools has revealed up 20 per cent of teachers are stuck in temporary positions and feel they need to compete with colleagues for work.
The survey of NSW Teachers Federation members was released as a joint venture from UNSW, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney and Curtin University last week.
It concluded that more men are in permanent positions than women, and only 27 per cent of those in temporary jobs indicated that they were there by choice.
NSW Riverina-based casual teacher Greg Adamson, of Griffith, is among the minority, having chosen the temporary career path for the benefits its provides his life.
"I never went into teaching to do it full-time," Mr Adamson said.
"With the seasonality in agricultural work, I thought casual teaching would be a complimentary career."
While temporary work provides the necessary leeway for Mr Adamson to continue his agricultural pursuits, he recognises that for the vast majority of workers, the lack of job security is less than ideal.
"It works for me, but I would hate for it to be the norm," he said.
Young teachers who have been forced to move readily to find work, Mr Adamson said, are accurately disadvantaged. Particularly those in the regions.
"It doesn't allow teachers to put down roots in a community," he said. "It discourages teachers from making long-term choices about where they live."
"Casualisation has a detriment to rural communities."
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Lead author in the study, Dr Meghan Stacey of the UNSW School of Education said there is also perceived lack of equity between teachers, which can push temporary teachers beyond reasonable limits.
There's an unspoken pressure on temporary teachers to 'do more' to increase their chance of getting more work," Dr Stacey said.
"They feel they have to jump through extra hoops or take on extra work just to have their contracts renewed or to be considered for a permanent position."
In response to the survey, a spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education told The Daily Advertiser that "there has been an increase in the number of permanent and temporary positions" across schools.
However, the spokesperson was not able to quantify how many new roles have been created over a given period of time.
Instead, the spokesperson said the amount of teachers at any school is determined by the corresponding number of students.
"Permanent positions are based on student enrolment numbers and it is a requirement to fill these positions permanently," the spokesperson said.
"Schools also may use their flexible funding to engage temporary staff to deliver a specific program or to support specific students."
At times, the spokesperson said, it may be necessary for a school to seek a greater number of casual teachers than is usual, but the timing of these appointment should be minimal.
"There are a number of reasons why schools may engage temporary teachers to support in the delivery of their educational and curriculum priorities," they said.
"This can include back-fill for approved leave, such as maternity leave, extended leave, or leave without pay, and also to cover for teachers engaged in temporary non-school based roles within the department."
The NSW Teachers Federation was contacted for comment.