Strike action on 4 May to pressure Government on salaries and workload

In response to the worsening teacher shortage crisis in public school classrooms, members in schools will take strike action across the state on Wednesday 4 May.

Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads was the only way to stop more teachers leaving the profession, attract more people into the profession and address the teacher shortage crisis.

The announcement coincides with the release of a poll of more than 10,000 members from across the state which reveals that without urgent action teachers will continue to leave the profession.

The poll found:

  • 73 per cent of members believe their workload is unmanageable
  • 70 per cent are reconsidering their position due to workload
  • 90 per cent disagree that their pay reflects their expertise and responsibilities
  • 89 per cent say shortages are very significant
  • 82 per cent say shortages are leading to higher teacher workloads at their school

The government and the Premier are failing children and their teachers,” Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said.

One of the most fundamental roles of a government is to ensure there is a qualified teacher in every classroom with the time and support to meet the needs of each child.”

The Government’s workload reduction plan didn’t reduce teachers’ workloads by a single hour in 2021. Their failure to address the real problems will make the profession less attractive and only increase the number of teachers who resign.

We suspended our industrial campaign in term 1 giving the Premier an opportunity to enter genuine negotiations. The premier failed to act on that opportunity. In doing so, the Perrottet Government has failed our students, their parents and the profession.

The solution to the teacher shortage and its causes, unsustainable working conditions and uncompetitive pay, cannot be addressed nor resolved in the Industrial Relations Commission.”

The NSW Government’s contemptuous Award offer, which it is pursing in the Industrial Relations Commission, will not even cover inflation. This means teachers’ pay will effectively go backwards every year.

The Government’s own regulations effectively prevent the IRC from addressing the causes of the teacher shortage. Its own regulations will result in a predetermined outcome consistent with the Government’s 2.04 per cent salary cap.”

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,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

The profession is now left with no alternative but to act in the interest of our students and our profession, and take industrial action.”

Further Action

Federation has also placed an immediate ban on all new Government (Department and NSW Education Standards Authority) policies/initiatives due for implementation on and from day 1 of term 2.

In addition, should NSW Government MPs seek to enter school grounds, Federation members are authorised to walk out for as long as these MPs remain on-site.  

The decision comes after the resolution was passed by the Federation State Executive unanimously on Tuesday morning.

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