Staffing crisis sparks walkout at Bonalbo Central School

Teachers Federation members at Bonalbo Central School in the state’s north have walked off the job over the impact the state-wide shortage of teachers is having on their school.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said staff walked out because the Education Department had failed to adequately address the staffing crisis, in particular the shortage of casual teachers which is causing classes to be collapsed when staff are on leave.

“The teacher shortage is affecting large and small schools across the state and the NSW Government needs to act quickly to address this problem,” Mr Rajendra said.

“Bonalbo teachers are also concerned about the lack of preparation time and the inadequacy of
incentives for teachers to transfer into their area to take up teaching or alleviate local shortages.”

“Schools, including Bonalbo Central, do not have sufficient access to school counsellors to enable them to support students with increasingly complex needs.”

“Dual qualified school counsellors do an incredible job, but they are working under unsustainable and impossible workloads,” Mr Rajendra said.

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.”