State-wide staffing crisis hits Newcastle school

Teachers Federation members at Newcastle Senior School, which educates students with learning difficulties, have walked off the job over the negative impact the state-wide teacher shortage is having on their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said members stopped work today to demonstrate their disappointment that the NSW Government has failed to appropriately staff their school.

“There have been more than 20 unfilled teacher absences at Newcastle Senior School this year and teachers are fed up with the disruption staff shortages are having on teaching and learning programs,” he said.

“Having insufficient staff to provide the intensive support students at this school require, places a huge burden on teachers and affects the provision of curriculum across the school.”

“The teacher shortage is impacting on the ability of staff to take leave or seek professional learning opportunities.”

“Students are missing out on the education they deserve due to the lack of staffing, including casual teacher relief.”

“Like many other teachers around the state, teachers at Newcastle Senior School have voted to take further action unless the NSW Government addresses the staffing crisis.”

“Over the past decade the NSW Government and the Education Department have weakened previously successful processes that ensured adequate staffing of all schools across the state,” Mr Rajendra said.

“The Gallop inquiry into the work of teachers found earlier this year that uncompetitive salaries for teachers and unsustainable workloads are leading to teacher shortages.”

“The workloads of teachers have increased every year, but their salaries have fallen every year compared to other professions.”

“You can’t fix the shortages without fixing the wages and workload problem.”

“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.”