NSW teachers strike on June 30 to be third in six months

Gavrielatos said the NSW budget failed to address crippling workloads, and acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads was the only way to stop more teachers leaving and attract people into the profession.

“We are left with no alternative but to demonstrate in this unprecedented manner the anger that is felt by the profession right across the state,” he said, adding the last time the unions took joint action was in 1996.

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said the Catholic diocesan school employers follow the NSW government’s lead on salaries, even though they are not legally bound by state government wages policy.

He said Catholic employers have also failed to address staff shortages, and have predicted a 15 per cent shortfall in their workforce by 2030.

Northam said Tuesday’s decision to take joint action was a “significant moment” with both unions “coming together to stand up for the profession. We use the same curriculum and syllabuses and the key concerns both unions share is the reality is teaching and schools are in crisis.”

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell on Wednesday said it was disappointing the education unions had chosen to take industrial action, and it would serve “no purpose” other than to disrupt families and students in the last week of term.

“It’s incredibly disruptive for families. I met with the union as recently as last week to talk about some of the pressures, particularly around workload,” Mitchell said.

“I would urge union bosses to reconsider what is the last week of school term to not go ahead with this strike and once again disrupt across NSW.”

A NSW Department of Education spokesperson said the state has the largest public education system in the country, with more than 92,000 teachers and a vacancy rate of less than 3 per cent. In 2019, the government committed to recruit an additional 4600 teachers over four years, with more than 3400 already recruited.

Catholic schools in NSW have predicted a workforce shortfall of around 15 per cent by the end of the decade, driven by the retirement of baby boomer teachers and a lack of candidates willing to join the profession to replace them.

“Teaching has got to be made attractive again, and bring people in as a matter of urgency because people are leaving the profession that graduates aren’t entering the profession. That’s the key problem,” Northam said.

He said that across 11 diocesan Catholic schools there were more than 300 staff vacancies.

“We have a situation where the schools are running on goodwill.”

Thousands of Catholic school teachers walked off the job at the end of May demanding a 10 to 15 per cent pay increase over the next two years.

Our Breaking News Alert will notify you of significant breaking news when it happens. Get it here.

Leave a Comment