Staffing crisis sparks walkout at Tacking Point Public School in Port Macquarie

Teachers Federation members at Tacking Point Public School in Port Macquarie have walked off the job over the unsustainable workload being placed on teachers because of the increasing complexity of their job.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff at Tacking Point are concerned release time for primary school teachers has remained unchanged since the 1980s and yet they are now working in excess of 55 hours a week.

“The diverse student body at Tacking Point includes students with disabilities, learners from non-English speaking backgrounds and students with challenging behaviours,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Our members at Tacking Point need more time to plan and collaborate with colleagues so they can more adequately support and nurture the students in their classrooms.”

“Teachers are calling on the Education Department to increase release time for primary school teachers by two hours per week so they are better able to prepare for classes.

Mr Rajendra said the staff at Tacking Point had issued an invitation to the local State MP to visit the school in order that they could be better informed about current conditions teachers were forced to work under.

He 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.”