After a unanimous decision by the union’s state leadership, New South Wales public school teachers will go on strike on Wednesday over concerns over salaries and work conditions.
It’s the first time in at least a decade that teachers have been given the green light to leave school grounds when a state government MP pays a visit.
Moreover, members are refusing to execute any new departmental policy or project that was set to be implemented at the beginning of term two.
Teachers in New South Wales have faced a slew of Covid-related issues this year, and the state’s Teachers Federation president, Angelo Gavrielatos, has declared he has no choice except to strike.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need,” Gavrielatos said.
“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.
“The profession is now left with no alternative but to act in the interest of our students and our profession, and take industrial action.”
“Make May 4 too loud to ignore,” he said.
Teacher strike action was suspended for the first term of the school year because of escalating Covid instances.
Almost a third of teachers polled, revealed on Tuesday, claimed their workload was excessive, and nine out of ten thought their compensation did not match their knowledge and responsibilities.
Because of the increased demands on their time, seven out of ten people polled were contemplating changing jobs.
As a result of challenges worsened by Covid, including educators being pushed to work outside of their specialities to address gaps and some schools resorting to remote learning, the teaching profession has been under considerable stress in recent years.
According to leaked federal government projections, the state would be short-staffed by 1,700 secondary school teachers in three years.