||Issue No. 195||12 September 2003|
Coalition of the Swilling
Interview: Crowded Lives
Activists: Life With Brian
Industrial: National Focus
Unions: If These Walls Could Talk
Economics: Beating the Bastards
Media: Three Corners
History: The Brisbane Line
Trade: The Dumping Problem
Review: Frankie's Way
The Locker Room
Teachers Attack National Stitch-Up
The action, which comes as teachers in NSW commence a case for a 25 per cent wage rise, was sparked by the recent meeting of state Treasurers where a plan to limit pay rises for all public sector workers was mapped out.
Teachers in NSW, Victorian and West Australia have coordinated the 24-hour stoppages for Wednesday, with colleagues taking protest action in other states, as part of the Australian Education Union's efforts to make education a top-level national priority.
In another national first, joint meetings will be held along the Victorian and NSW border.
AEU Federal President Pat Byrne says the action by state and territory governments is simply unacceptable, particularly when the Australian education system is currently in the midst of teacher shortage crisis.
"As a result of the lack of financial and professional incentives provided by state and territory governments, up to 50% of new teachers are on record as saying they do not intend to be teaching within 10 years," Byrne says.
"By 2005, Deans of Education estimate that there will be a shortage of 5,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools," she says. "By the end of the decade, the Education Ministers' research shows that this shortage will have increased to at least 20,000."
NSW Teachers Federation president Maree O'Halloran says the national action is unprecedented - and is an important wake-up call to the en tire nation.
"It's totally irresponsible of the state governments to be meeting and colluding to hold down real wage growth of teachers at the very time when they should be working out ways to make the profession grow," O'Halloran says
"It is absolutely outrageous that we have been told that if we get more three per cent per year they are threatening to punish our students by cutting the public education budget.
TAFE Teachers Get In On Act
Meanwhile, TAFE teachers have voted unanimously for industrial action of at least 24 hours, early in Term 4, if the Carr government does not halt its attacks on TAFE.
NSW TAFE Teachers Association secretary Linda Simon says teachers are concerned about the effects that increased TAFE fees will have next year in pricing qualifications needed to enter the workforce beyond the reach of many young people.
The teachers also noted with increasing concern the results of the survey conducted by the NSW Council for Adult Literacy and Numeracy that showed that 37% of those currently in such courses would not be able to continue studies to improve basic skills levels.
"Council is angry that the Carr Labor government does not value the great TAFE system in this state, and continues to undermine TAFE by cutting budgets, and proposing a restructure that attacks the integrity of TAFE," Simon says.
"TAFE teachers are passionate about the education and training they provide for a wide variety of students, and will not allow this education to be undermined. If this means that we have to strike to highlight our determination, then we will do so."
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