NSW teachers on strike: “My working conditions are your child’s learning conditions”

Published: 04/05/2022
Category: Workers rights
Published: 04/05/2022
Category: Workers rights

If a teacher has to use their ‘teacher’s voice’ in public, you know there’s something very wrong.  

So when you have tens of thousands of teachers across New South Wales demanding better wages and workloads, that’s when the NSW Government has no choice but to pay attention.  

Members of the Teachers Federation have come out in full force in Sydney today to protest against 60 hours work weeks and snail-paced wages growth.  

In a poll last month of 10,000 teachers, nine in 10 teachers said they were not paid enough and almost three in four said their workload was unmanageable. Even more concerningly, 70 percent of teachers said they were considering leaving the profession altogether. 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet presented a pay offer of only 2.04% per cent the same day inflation was at 5.1%. With real wages still going backwards, teachers are being left behind.  

A great education needs great teachers

To attract and retain great teachers, there needs to be a meaningful pay rise for our educators.  

A teacher’s job doesn’t end when the school bell rings. Teachers now work 55 hours a week or more to keep up with higher student needs and constant curriculum changes. 

But teachers’ salaries in NSW haven’t kept pace. In fact, they’ve fallen way behind other professions.

One in eight teachers now leave the profession within 6 years because of the pay and workload pressures. 

In New South Wales alone, there are more than 2,000 permanent vacancies and it’s harder than ever to recruit talented people to become teachers.  

The NSW Government, in public statements criticising teachers, said they were concerned a single day’s industrial action would impact students’ learning, while at the same time wilfully ignoring the constant disruption of learning caused by understaffing and teacher shortages. 

What most parents understand is that teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions.  

That’s why the NSW Teachers Federation is asking for a much-needed wage increase. Because without great teachers, kids don’t get a great education. 

A fail grade for Premier Perrottet

The recommendations from the independent Gallop Inquiry last year showed that to meet the challenge of teacher shortages, the NSW Government needed to increase salaries, provide ample time and resources to teachers, and make sure no child in crisis was left without support.

But thus far, the only grades Premier Perrottet has received on those actions are fails.

A report card for Perrottet that has Fs next to the following demands:

1. Increase teacher salaries by 10-15% over two years
2. Give teachers more time for lesson planning, marking and collaboration
3. Increase the number of school counsellors 
4. Restore specialist support services and decrease admin 

Comments: Perrottet has failed to complete his homework despite repeated requests he perform to a minimum standard.

But with the numbers and energy we’ve seen today, he won’t be able to do that much longer.

NSW teachers on strike: “My working conditions are your child’s learning conditions”

NSW teachers on strike: “My working conditions are your child’s learning conditions”