Teachers send a loud and clear message to Premier

More than 15,000 members descended on NSW Parliament in Sydney on 4 May to send a loud and clear message to the Premier and his Government: Enough is enough!

The teachers taking strike action called on the Government to urgently act on the teacher shortage and its underlying causes, uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads.

Meanwhile, thousands more members protested in 15 regional rallies across the state, drawing attention to how the National Party is failing our kids in the bush.

At the Sydney rally, a number of teachers took to the stage to share their experiences of how the teacher shortage is affecting them, their students, and their communities.

Braidwood Central School teacher Alisa Stephens said the teacher shortage was having an untold impact on student learning in schools across NSW.

My youngest son’s kindergarten class was without a teacher for 14 days last term due to the shortages. This highlights the dire need for action,” she said.

Uralla Central School principal Michael Rathborne explained the effect of chronic shortages on his school.

I’ve had seven counsellors in eight years, too many classes uncovered and had to go through a two-year process to get a specialist Industrial Arts teacher. Kids in the bush are being let down by politicians in Sydney,” he said.

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

We took industrial action today because we care deeply about the education that every child in every public school receives.

We protested outside Parliament House because we cannot accept the crippling teacher shortages that are costing our children opportunities to learn, costing them their future.

Despite our teachers’ best efforts, hundreds of classes are being combined every day.

Thousands of students are being left in playgrounds with only minimal supervision on a regular basis. To say their learning is being disrupted is a massive understatement.

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 time for government posturing, spin and gimmickry has long passed,” added Mr Gavrielatos.

Our children can’t put their education on hold and wait for the Premier and his Government to stop ignoring their needs. They need real action now.

The Perrottet Government cannot be allowed to make the schoolchildren of tomorrow pay for the neglect of sound policy and planning by the politicians of today.

Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to stop more teachers leaving and to attract the people into the profession we need to fix the shortages. This is an investment in our children’s futures.

Our children are relying on us. We have a responsibility to them and we will not let them down.

We won’t accept anything less than what the profession and our children deserve,” he said.