Staffing crisis sparks walkout at schools across NSW

Teachers Federation members at several school across the state took action last week, walking off the job over a number of issues, including the impact the state-wide shortage of teachers is having on all NSW public schools.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the union’s members continue to be fed up with the lack of action and planning that has led to teacher shortages across the state.

“The NSW Government has no plan to recruit the teachers NSW needs. “

“Last week we saw the NSW Government respond to warnings that the state could run out of teachers within five years by issuing a glossy brochure that recycles failed initiatives and ignores its own Department’s advice that uncompetitive wages are turning smart young people off teaching.”

“Teachers have had enough of the hollow promises that the Education Department will reduce their increasing workloads and address the staffing crisis in our schools,” he said.

Mr Rajendra said as it stands today, classes across the state are being combined, students are provided with only minimal supervision and teachers are teaching outside their area of expertise in hundreds of schools across NSW due to already existing teacher shortages.

Members at the following schools walked out in protest last week:

Tumbarumba Public School

Buninyong Public School

Lightning Ridge Central School

Wyrallah Public School

Finley High School

Drummond Memorial Public School

Gilgandra High School

Murrumbidgee Regional High School, Griffith

Blayney High School

“Teachers have been waiting 10 years for a comprehensive workforce plan that shows how the shortages will be fixed, how many teachers we need and how the government will end the unacceptable situation where 1,000 permanent positions are vacant and 15% of teachers are teaching outside their area of expertise.”

Investing in teachers through higher salaries has been shown in national and international research to improve the attraction and retention of teachers and draw into the profession people with higher levels of academic attainment.

“What is required right now is an urgent increase in teachers’ salaries and their preparation time. That will have a real impact on the attractiveness of the profession and the education children receive.