By Country Organisers
Teachers from many schools have taken spontaneous industrial action following the government's announcement that it was seeking to re-open the salaries case.
Central Coast teachers held a rally outside the Industrial Relations Society Conference where John Della Bosca was speaking.
Approximately 50 teachers from 15 schools attended this spontaneous demonstration and forcefully showed their disgust at the attempt by the government to reopen our salary case.
Many demonstrators had made hurried signs to show their support for the Federation's pay claim. A letter of demand was signed by those present to give to Della Bosca. Teachers called on the government to stop trying to intervene in the pay case so late in the process. Teachers demanded full pay for the work value that we had proven in the Commission.
The media was well represented and interviewed many of the classroom teachers who had walked out to protest. After making their point very effectively, teachers returned to work for the afternoon.
The Minister did not speak to the massed teachers, but did agree to see a deputation later in the day.
In the meeting with Central Coast organiser, Fred Dumbrell and members of the 3 local teachers' associations from Woy Woy, Wyong and Gosford, Minister Della Bosca said that the government had found a deficit of $1 billion and felt justified to introduce this as "new" evidence for the Industrial Commission. He said the government had fully funded the interim pay rise and hinted they would fund the final decision.
Federation representatives forcefully rejected reopening the case. It was made clear to him that teachers deserved a significant pay rise and that we would continue to fight for wage justice.
In other parts of the state, James Fallon HS (Albury) met on Friday 14 May and decided unanimously to stop work on Monday 17 May from 2.00 pm. Colo High will stop work at the end of lunch on Monday.
Griffith HS will stop work on Wednesday morning 19 May for 40 minutes. Murray HS (Albury), Leeton HS, Narrandera HS, Narrandera PS, Mount Austin HS (Wagga) will be meeting on Monday 17 May to discuss action. West Dubbo will be stopping work for 15 minutes.
In the far west, Willyama HS is out for the day on Monday and Broken Hill High is out for half a day. There will be a protest outside the office of Peter Black MP on Monday morning.
The Federation Senior Officers congratulate all teachers who have responded so quickly to the government's provocative manoeuvre.