Teacher protest as Minister “flew in and flew out”

Local teachers are very unhappy with the NSW Minister of Education, Sarah Mitchell, who paid a flying visit this week to Broken Hill yet did not engage with the local Teachers’ Federation.

Protestors showed their displeasure on Thursday afternoon by holding a demonstration outside MP Roy Butler’s office.

“Thanks Sarah, for not talking to the teachers in Broken Hill who are very angry that you have been so dismissive and disrespectful of them and their problems,” said Barrier Teachers Federation spokesperson, Maureen Clarke.

Neither Mr Butler nor the Federation – the teacher group organised the protest – were invited to speak with the Minister when she visited Broken Hill.

Mr Butler said teachers from the Federation gathered to send a message to Minister Mitchell.

“Unfortunately, I was elsewhere and unable to meet with them, but they told my Broken Hill team, that they too, were disappointed they didn’t have the opportunity to meet with the Minister and have their concerns heard about teacher shortages, unachievable workloads, burnout and fatigue, all things that impact on the educational outcomes for our youth.”

Ms Clarke, told the Barrier Truth, “this is a protest. We had the minister for education here and she flew in and flew out and never spoke to us about issues that are really concerning to all teachers in NSW.

“She came here, and she did give a cheque for teacher housing, much appreciated, but we would have appreciated even more to know where we were going to get the teachers to fill those teachers’ houses.

“We have gathered outside Roy Butler’s office as he is our member of parliament, and we wanted to give him a message to take back to Sarah Mitchell.

“The major problem is that we are missing 29 teachers in the Broken Hill area, including Wilcannia and Menindee, as well as Broken Hill schools. That is 29 classes that don’t have a permanent teacher standing in front of them.

“Now it is all very well for the Education Department to say we will send you some teachers, but there is a short fall everywhere. We’ve got close to 2000 classes in NSW that don’t have a permanent teacher standing in front of them.

“In fact, the situation is actually worse as many classes are covered by casual or temporary teachers, but not permanent teachers.

“I will tell you that the principal of Willyama High School has had to resorted to Twitter to find staff, that’s how bad it is.

“It is really bad when you go to Twitter to try and find coverage for your school classes.

“I think our kids out here deserve far better than that,” Ms Clarke said.

Support the Barrier Truth!

We are a small, independently owned newspaper. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue publishing the truth from the Broken Hill region. Every little bit counts.

More Articles