Teachers to go on strike on May 4

NSW Teachers Federation State Executive has today made the unanimous decision to proceed with strike action on Wednesday May 4.

The Federation 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 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.

A new poll of 10,000 NSW teachers released today has found:

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

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said the Premier has failed students, their parents, and the teaching profession.

If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.

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.

Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to stop more teachers leaving and attract the people into the profession we need to fix the shortages, he 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.

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 teacher shortage has created a crisis in our classrooms. As of February, there were a total of 2,383 permanent vacancies across 1,251 schools in NSW.

Government report after government report has stated the main reasons why people don’t want to enter the profession and why teachers don’t want to stay in the profession are unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.

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 (IRC).

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 2.5 per cent salary cap.