Teachers strike while Members in Parliament paid extra

Teachers in the Far West will be joining the one-day strike held across the state today.

Teachers are striking for better conditions and a pay rise that’s at least equal to inflation and not below it.

While teachers are struggling with wage erosion and increased duties the NSW Members of Parliament are receiving additional wages for their increased duties.

NSW MPs earn a base salary of $169,000, senior ministers receive another $159,000 on top of that and other ministers receive another $140,000 on top of their $169,000 pay.

If you are a Parliamentary Secretary, you pocket an extra $32,000 in salary and allowances on top of your $169,000, while committee chairs receive an additional $22,000.

If the Members of Parliament hold other positions, they again increase their pay.

Mr Domonic defended the pay increases since he came to power at a budget estimates hearing.

“Some members receive extra pay because of the additional responsibilities and duties they take on,” he said.

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Teachers are struggling to come to terms with the number of extra duties and the lack of teaching staff they have to deal with every day.

A local primary teacher said for every student with a recognised learning problem they need to do individualised learning support plan and maintain these throughout the year whilst implementing them and still teaching the other students in the class.

One school in Broken Hill had over 60 per cent of the students with learning difficulties of some sort.

This means for every twenty students in a classroom a teacher must implement an individual learning program for 12 of those students whilst still teaching and individually supporting the other eight students.

In the old days a teacher could set work and do marking as the students worked.

This is no longer the case, whilst some students work, others are being assisted, then those not on special plans need to be checked.

Thus, all the marking is done after hours along with normal lesson plans, the learning assessments and plans, resources building, extracurricular planning and implementation, as well as organising school sports days, Mother Days, Father Days, and other school events that occur.

Primary School teachers do get two hours off for planning, but often there are no teachers to cover the time, or they are asked to cover other classes as there are not enough teachers to teach.

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In Broken Hill, 73 per cent of teachers said their workload is unmanageable, 71 per cent are reconsidering their position due to workload, 87 per cent believe their pay does not reflect their responsibilities and expertise, 94 per cent said teacher shortages are significant and one in three said they are teaching in subjects they are not trained for.

A strike meeting will begin at 9:30am at the Musicians Club.

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