Western Australia's 17,000 strong teaching workforce will have pay and allowances enshrined in a single award, following a decision by the Industrial Relations Commission late today.
Education Minister Kay Hallahan said the decision was an important milestone in improving conditions for the teaching profession.
"An award is vital for the teaching profession to attract and retain top quality staff, which ultimately benefits students and their education," she said.
Mrs Hallahan said matters such as DOTT time and class sizes were yet to be ruled on by the Commission, but salaries and allowances were now enshrined in a comprehensive award.
"Negotiations between the Government and the State School Teachers' Union on this issue have been very constructive," she said.
"This is in contrast to the Liberal approach in Victoria, where there are teacher sackings, arbitrary school closures and erosion of teacher working conditions.
"In addition, Victorian teachers will be forced on to temporary contracts - with salaries frozen for the life of the contract - from March this year.
"We have guaranteed teachers' conditions and pay, whereas the Kennett Government would not only place their positions in jeopardy but their actual jobs as well."
Mrs Hallahan said while an award gave WA teachers significant industrial protection, it was Liberal policy to abandon the award system.