||Issue No. 206||05 December 2003|
A New Mark for Labor
Interview: Muscling Up
Unions: Thinking Pink
Bad Boss: Global Bully
Unions: National Focus
Economics: Friend or Flunkey?
History: Young Blood
Industrial: Living For Work?
International: Fighting Together
Poetry: Medicare Plus Blues
Review: Human Racing
The Locker Room
Bob Gould On Kicking The Liberals Out
MP Too Busy For Teachers
"Diane Beamer reflects the attitude of the Carr state government - they don't care about public education and the children of New South Wales," says Bonnie Laker, a teacher at Blackwell Public School, St Clair.
The news comes as teachers across the state voted in favour of a 2-day strike on the 11 and 12 February next year.
"It is outrageous that our local member will not meet with us over the issues of teacher salaries and support for our students," says Laker. "She is meant to be our local member, listening to our concerns and advocating for us to the government."
"We face a situation in our school and across the state where support to schools and our students is being cut. Our local member refuses to speak with us about it."
Teachers have been calling for a new award with pay increases to be available from 1 January 2004.
The Teacher's Federation called on the Carr Government to ensure that the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission is fully funded from Treasury; this is to protect the already-diminished public education budget.
Teachers were hoping that the conduct of the Government's case in the Industrial Relations Commission did not denigrate the profession or undermine the value of teachers' work.
"These three demands are within the purview of the Carr Government not the Industrial Relations Commission. Government's agreement to these requests would ensure that Government provided a fair assessment of teachers' work," says Ms. Maree O'Halloran, President of the NSW Teachers Federation
"The Premier has refused to meet with the Federation to discuss these requests and the Government has continued to threaten the funding of public education including TAFE, denigrate the public education teaching profession and delay the decision."
Catholic Education Employers have come to an agreement with the Independent Education Union in the Industrial Relations Commission about the significant changes and value of teachers' work over the last decade.
"The Carr Government, by contrast, has sought by every means to lower the potential salaries award," says O'Halloran. "It has taken this course of action despite a healthy surplus of $619 million and pre-election promises not to denigrate the profession and to have a new award in place by 1 January 2004 when the current award expires."
"If the Carr Government is successful in its course of action, then the community will inevitably face larger class sizes or unqualified people in our classrooms. The Government's action has forced a greater industrial response from teachers," says O'Halloran.
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