Hunter teachers are walking off the job today, just a week into the school term, taking industrial action for the second time in just six months.
It’s part of a push for better working conditions and pay rates.
The NSW Teachers Federation also striked in December, but the union says the Premier hasn’t met their demands.
Today’s action comes after a new poll was released, finding almost three quarters of teachers in Newcastle felt their workload was unmanageable and they were reconsidering their career because of it.
Regional Organiser Jack Galvin Waight says
“Teachers across the Hunter are striking today because we’re fed up with a government that’s shown it doesn’t care about students and it doesn’t care about the profession,” Mr Galvin Waight said.
“We suspended our industrial campaign in Term One, and tried to negotiate, but they refused to listen.
“Teachers have been left with no alternative but to act today.
“The only thing the Government hasn’t tried is reducing workloads and paying teachers a competitive salary that reflects their expertise and abilities.”
Teachers have already been permitted to walk out of the classroom if Government MPs visited their school, including a walkout at a Sydney school when Dominic Perrottet showed up on Tuesday.
It comes just a day after a Government proposal, to ease staff shortages by endorsing unqualified teachers as subject specialists.
Mr Galvin Waight says it’s an insult to teachers, students, and parents.
“This is outrageous, and shows the State Government is desperate,” Mr Galvin Waight said.
“One of the most fundamental roles of a government is to ensure there is a qualified teacher in every classroom, with the time and support to meet the needs of every child.
“The State Government cannot be allowed to take a low road approach and reducing standards, but instead address the real causes of shortages – uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads.”