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Teachers send ‘strong and powerful messages to the government’ at strike

Teachers strike

Thousands of teachers gathered to strike outside parliament house today. Photo: Twitter/@TeachersFed.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Teachers across the state went on strike for the second time in six months on Wednesday, with the NSW Teachers Federation saying that the industrial action was “too loud to ignore”.

More than 15,000 teachers gathered outside NSW parliament in the Sydney CBD on Wednesday to call for better pay and working conditions from the state government.

President of the NSW Teachers Federation Angelo Gavrielatos said on Wednesday that there was “a red line of teachers stretching down Macquarie Street and across the state”.

“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth and address workloads we will not retain nor attract the teachers we know we need,” Gavrielatos said.

“We won’t accept anything less than what the profession and what our children deserve.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who called the strikes “disappointing”, said that he would be addressing the concerns of public workers, including teachers, nurses and transport workers, “holistically” in the next state budget, which is expected in June.

Gavrielatos said that teachers needed action now, saying that “children can’t put their education on hold and wait for the premier and his government to stop ignoring their needs”.

The Federation has called for a pay rise of between 5 to 7.5 per cent after a Coalition-introduced law capped wage growth at 2.5 per cent.

Teachers gathered on Macquarie Street. Photo: Twitter/@aliceleung.

Teachers strike for ‘untold impacts’ of shortages across the state

Greens State Member for Newtown Jenny Leong, who attended the strike, said that “teachers deserve so much more than thanks”.

Braidwood Central School teacher Alisa Stephens said that the shortage of teachers was having “an untold impact on student learning across NSW”.

“My youngest son’s kindergarten class was without a teacher for 14 days last term due to shortages,” Stephens said.

“Teaching is a job that is impossible to do within our paid hours and the government knows it.”

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