Rallies target NSW Labor over failure to keep its promise to teachers 

The latest in a growing series of rallies displaying members’ discontent with NSW Labor walking away from a deal to vary the existing schools award to offer competitive salaries was held outside Education Minister Prue Car’s Londonderry electorate office at St Marys this afternoon (16 August). 

More than 160 members from western Sydney attended the rally, demonstrating their anger at NSW Labor’s betrayal, withdrawing from the heads of agreement and instead offering an inferior four-year award that would introduce a 2.5 per cent cap on pay increases. 

Among chants of “Honour the Deal”, Acting Federation President Henry Rajendra outlined the features of the heads of agreement – negotiated in good faith – and how the Government had backed away, before he joined with members in the “Honour the Deal” chanting. 

Mr Rajendra said the teacher shortage in NSW is severe and getting worse and our kids deserve better. “The fastest and best way to tackle this crisis is for the government to pay teachers what they’re worth. It’s not too late to revive and honour the agreement the Government made. Teachers will continue to exert maximum political pressure and on September 9 our State Council will meet to decide whether to escalate that action.” 

“A competitive salary is critical to recruiting the teachers that we need,” Mr Rajendra told 7 News. “Teachers are overworked and our kids are suffering. 

Fed Rep at St Marys North Public School Sian Barnard, who addressed the rally, told news.com.au that Education Minister Prue Car and Premier Chris Minns had made “empty promises” to fix the staffing crisis, that workforce shortages had led to extreme burnout among staff and higher rates of pay that were competitive against other states and territories would help retain staff and attract new workers. “It’s not just about wages, it’s about attracting new teachers and stopping the teacher shortage. You’ve got 70 per cent of your workforce considering leaving due to burnout and work overload,” Ms Barnard said. “I’m not saying this government could have fixed this in six months, but step one of the process of fixing the system is to make it more attractive.” 

Next rally at Minns’ electorate office this afternoon 

When Premier Chris Minns visited Wagga Wagga on 6 August, Federation members staged a snap protest, and the next day he was greeted by more members rallying at Griffith airport. Federation and Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/Act Branch members rallied outside the Bush Summit in Tamworth on 11 August. 

Members will again remind him to Honour The Deal, when they protest outside his electorate office 22-24 Regent St, Kogarah at 4pm this afternoon (Thursday 17 August).  

Add to the influx of emails 

More than 12,000 members have emailed their local Labor MP, Deputy Premier and Education Minister Prue Car, Treasurer Daniel Mookhey and Premier Chris Minns, calling on the Government to honour the negotiated agreement and vary the Award to deliver these changes on day 1 of term 4 (9 October). “With thousands of teacher vacancies and the teacher shortage negatively impacting on student learning, the future of public education is at stake, as is the credibility of the Minns Government,” the email states.  

It’s easy to send the email; use this email template

Share your Honour the Deal photos 

Since members learned of the Government’s backflip, they have taken group photos holding Honour The Deal placards, which have been posted to social media. Download the poster, take some photos and share them online to send a clear message to the Minns Government.