Media release: A cruel blow for students as Govt threatens school funding

The Berejiklian Government must not be allowed to use students as pawns in its attempt to impose a wage freeze across the public sector.

Having failed to secure the necessary numbers in Parliament, the NSW Government is arguing for a wage freeze in the Industrial Relations Commission in the case concerning nurses and public service employees.

The Government has tendered evidence from Treasury stating that: “savings accrued from a pause in wage growth are assumed to be reinvested into services consistent with the Gonski 2.0 funding agreement (eg more teachers), rather than be returned to the Consolidated Fund.”

“In effect the Government is suggesting that more than a thousand teaching positions delivering crucial learning programs could be cut should public sector employees receive a well-deserved wage increase,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“The maintenance of the Gonski 2.0 commitments should not be treated by the Government as discretionary spending dependent on the freezing of any public sector employees’ salaries.”

“It would be similar to arguing that a salary increase for teachers would result in the loss of hospital beds.”

“School communities need no reminding that this $1.3 billion per year Gonski funding generates learning programs specifically to address disadvantage by targeting the needs of students who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, are socio-economically disadvantaged, have disabilities, come from non-English language backgrounds and/or live in rural and remote communities,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“The government is warned that any attempt to strip the learning conditions of students will be resisted with the full force of the union,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

Media Contact: Mountain Media