Teachers say they need ‘more than thanks’

Broken Hill teachers at the local strike on Wednesday.

Teachers in Broken Hill made their voices heard during the state-wide strike earlier this week.

Public school educators stood in solidarity with their colleagues in the Far West and across NSW to demonstrate against working conditions.

About 200 local teachers were not in the classrooms on Wednesday and opted to gather at the Musician’s Club Hall to join in the strike.

Barriers Teachers Association President, Jason Bradley, was pleased with the large attendance and said it was proof that teachers still have strong concerns about workloads, staffing and salaries.

“Today, it’s very evident that there is a crisis in the way of staffing across all New South Wales,” he said.

“Not just Broken Hill but it’s affecting regional areas a great deal.

“We need to make sure that the Government are addressing the pay, working conditions and making sure that over time we have enough teachers to staff every single position across the state.”

Demonstrators watched a live feed of the streamed rally in Sydney’s CBD led by the NSW Teachers Federation.

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The hour-long formal presentation in the state’s capital included guest speeches from educators around the NSW and the union’s boss Angelo Gavrielatos.

Despite being seated, teachers waved flags, held up signs and chanted along to slogans like ‘more than thanks” and “union power.”

Mr Bradley expects the energy felt in the room and at all rallies to continue if the NSW Government does not address the concerns raised.

“It’s really important we address the situation now otherwise it’s going to get worse,” he said.

“With the amount of work that staff have been through for the last two years, I can certainly say that the energy is not going to dissipate.”

Being away from the classrooms caused a ripple effect on households, with many parents required to organise alternative care for their children or stay home.

That also didn’t mean that teachers on strike would be relieved of their duties.

“Simply because we are on strike and not in front of a classroom doesn’t mean they are not going home to do work,” Mr Bradley said. “That’s admin work that we are doing every single day.

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“We apologise to parents and this is a problem to deal with over the day but the reality of it is it’s happening every single day in every single school.

“There are classes being left uncovered because there are not enough teachers.”

Mr Bradley admitted he was not optimistic that issues would be addressed and said time would tell.

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