Prairiewood HS teachers walk out after Education Minister walks in

Teachers at Prairiewood High School in Western Sydney demonstrated their disgust with the NSW Government’s refusal to act on unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries during a visit by the Education Minister Sarah Mitchell today.

After the Minister walked into Prairiewood High School, Federation members walked out.

The Minister, indeed, all members of the Government can expect more of this in the absence of genuine government action on the teacher shortage and it’s underlying causes – unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.

That the Government is pursuing a new Award that seeks to impose a 2.04 per cent salary cap, with no change to the crippling working conditions experienced by the profession for a three-year period, is contemptuous. At a time when inflation is running at 3.5 per cent and predicted to grow, this would constitute a cut to teachers’ real income and status of the profession.

The decision to suspend industrial action during Term 1 gives the Government a singular opportunity to resolve the matters regarding teachers’ salaries and workload by negotiation and mutual agreement.

Unless the Government demonstrates that it is serious in providing improvements in working conditions and salary justice by mid-March, then the Federation will consider the full suite of options available to it, including the recommencement of industrial action.

It is time Mr Perrottet, the Education Minister and the NSW Government entered in to genuine negotiations to resolve the current dispute.

Angelo Gavrielatos
NSW Teachers Federation President