Government Criticised For Lowering Standards As NSW Teachers Strike
Never been more angry”
For the second time in almost six months, NSW teachers are striking in a push to address teacher shortages and conditions.
Teachers gathered at Sydney's Hyde Park on Wednesday morning before marching to State Parliament, with regional rallies taking place in areas including Dubbo, Taree and Wagga Wagga.
Australia Today's Steve Price spoke to NSW Teachers Federation boss Angelo Gavrielatos, who said he's never seen such anger amongst teachers.
Frustrated, Mr Gavrielatos said that the NSW government's solution to current teacher shortages is to lower standards, effectively disrupting hundreds of classes across NSW everyday.
"What it's saying is that the children of tomorrow can pay the price for the neglect of politicians today," he said.
"Kids only have one chance, are they really suggesting that we lower standards?"
It follows the Union rejecting a last-minute bid from the state government to delay the action until after next month's budget.
Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell on Tuesday said the award negotiations for teachers was set to be heard in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission this month.
“The premier has made it clear in comments that he’s made that the government is looking at the wages policy as part of those budget considerations, and therefore I would like IRC determinations to be made after the budget,” she said yesterday.
“I have relayed that to the Teachers Federation...in good faith, and asked them to consider their industrial action"
“So, the onus really now is on union bosses to make decisions about what they want to do,” she said.
But the NSW Teachers Federation confirmed the strike would go ahead after the union had been attempting to negotiate on wages since early last year.
“We have been very patient,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
"Teachers and principals have never been more angry - never been more angry at a government that’s failed to take action to ensure that every child in every classroom is taught by a qualified teacher."
"The shortage is getting worse, the government must act," he urged.
More to come.
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