Local teachers still ‘angry’

Broken Hill teachers on strike - December 7 2021. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Teachers in Broken Hill are still waiting on answers from the NSW Government regarding working conditions.

Last December, public school educators in the Silver City joined a state-wide strike to express their unhappiness with current standards.

About 200 local teachers gathered in front of the Trades Hall building to voice their unified frustrations.

Maureen Clark, Media Officer for the Barrier Teachers Association, explained that teachers are still fuming following the rally.

“Teachers are feeling angry that the Government is still not listening to them even after the December 7 strike last year,” she said.

“The shortage of teachers in NSW schools is very real and is hitting us now.

“Workload issues and uncompetitive salaries deter prospective teachers and have led to teachers leaving the profession.”

NSW Teachers Federation has decided to halt further industrial action in hopes that Premier Dominic Perrottet will engage in “genuine negotiations” with the Union.

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Federation President, Angelo Gavrielatos, said the Union suspended action for Term 1 due to COVID-19 disruption to schooling.

“This pause and act of good faith provide the NSW Government with an unparalleled opportunity to resolve the matters in contention regarding teachers’ salaries and workload by negotiation and mutual agreement,” he said.

“This decision will also allow schooling to be as free from further interruption as possible for the remainder of this term.

“We do this in the interests of our students and their parents who have endured so much over the past two years.”

The Union’s State Council will meet again on March 19 to assess the outcome of any negotiations and determine a course of action it deems appropriate.

“Unless the Government demonstrates that it is serious in providing improvements in working conditions and salary justice by that date, State Council will consider the full suite of options available to it, including the recommencement of industrial action,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

Mrs Clark fears that if no changes are made, it may put aspiring educators to enter the industry.

“That action (strike) highlighted the increasing need to make the teaching profession more attractive to the best and brightest of our school leavers,” she said.

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The Premier’s office was contacted but did not comment by the publication deadline.

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