Federation saves jobs

Federation Representative at Broken Hill High School Jason Bradley has witnessed first hand the benefits of the staffing moratorium negotiated by Federation

The staffing moratorium has resulted in several teachers remaining in the isolated community rather than becoming nominated transfers.

Broken Hill, more than 1000km north-west of Sydney, is one of a number of schools seeing the benefits of the important policy initiative in the midst of the drought.

“We are extremely grateful,” Mr Bradley said.

“We have experienced a reduction in student numbers that, prior to the moratorium, would have no doubt resulted in staff being nominated for transfer.”

Mr Bradley explained that the teachers remaining in the town has eased the pressures and stress that a reduction in staffing entitlements brings.

“These teachers now get to stay in town and contribute to the local economy. They get to continue teaching the cohort of students they have been working with — that’s really great for the kids as well.”

As well as remaining in the town, Mr Bradley pointed out that these teachers also remained members of the local Teachers Association.

With support of local members, the Barrier Teachers Association has recently moved to establish a social club with the goal of increasing local activism and meeting new members in a social environment.

“I think one of the other great things about it [the social club] is that it also allows us to build a really strong support network and solidarity among members working out here. Parts of the community are doing it tough because of the drought and it’s important for us to look after each other as best we can.”

Water and the drought continue to be a hot topic of conversation in Broken Hill with the State Government recently completing construction of a 250km underground pipe pumping water from the Murray River at Wentworth. The pipeline supplies 37.4 megalitres of raw water per day and contributes to a 720 megalitre bulk storage tank just outside the town.

“We have water to drink, but we still desperately need rain,” Mr Bradley said.