Repeated knockbacks fail to deter members from urgent goal

Members in the Macleay Valley are determined their local MP Melinda Pavey meet with them to discuss the effects of the staffing shortage on students and teachers in her electorate, plus her response to the recommendations of the Gallop inquiry.

On Tuesday, 10 August, Macleay River Teachers Association members from across the district hand delivered a letter to her office after repeated attempts to organise a meeting were knocked back.

The urgency of this meeting cannot be overstated,” Association President John Kassel said, in the letter.

“Staffing shortages are affecting all of NSW because the State Government, through its Education Department, has failed to staff schools appropriately. This is impacting on curriculum delivery, support and presenting work health and safety issues.

The problem is not just in remote areas and is impacting schools in the Oxley electorate. Already this year, public schools in the Macleay Valley have been unable to cover a significant number of classes of absent colleagues.

As such, this issue requires your immediate attention and thus members again request an urgent meeting to take place sometime in the next two weeks at a time.”

Mr Kassel wrote that members were “very disappointedthat despite attempts on the 5, 7 and 18 May and 2 and 16 June to arrange a meeting, requests had either been ignored or refused.

“Many other local members across NSW have met with teachers to discuss these issues and the concerns of the communities in which they live.”