School staffing crisis sparks walkout at Hunter School of the Performing Arts

Teachers Federation members at Hunter School of the Performing Arts in Newcastle have walked off the job over the impact the shortage of casual teachers is having on their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff walked out because of frustration that the Education Department had failed to adequately staff their school.

“Staff say the shortage of casual teachers is crippling their school and many others across the state and a solution must be found,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Members at Hunter School of the Performing Arts have voted to take further action if the unsatisfactory staffing situation is not addressed urgently.”

“There is enormous concern at this school and at many others in the Hunter about the critical shortage of school counsellors who are so overworked they find it difficult to respond to the increasingly complex needs of large numbers of students.”

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.”