Members of the NSW Teachers Federation will strike for the second time in six months on Wednesday, with a large crowd expected outside Macquarie Street tomorrow to call for a pay rise and better working conditions.
The strikes come after NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said that the profession was “left with no alternative but to act in the interests of our students and our profession and take industrial action” after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet “failed” to negotiate a stronger deal for teachers.
In response, Perrottet has said that he is working to address the concerns of teachers, as well as nurses, paramedics and transport workers, “holistically” in the upcoming state budget, which will be released in June.
For the first time in a decade, members of the Teachers Federation will also be allowed to walk off school grounds when a member of state parliament visits.
The Federation will amplify calls for a pay rise of between 5 to 7.5 per cent on Wednesday after a Coalition-introduced law has capped wage growth at 2.5 per cent.
“Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to stop more teachers leaving and attract the people into the profession we need to fix the shortage,” Gavrielatos said.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (middle). Photo: Facebook.
While Perrottet called the teachers’ strike “disappointing”, he said that “we’ll work through these issues and get a good outcome on the other side”.
Teachers strike follows a spate of public sector industrial action
The looming teacher strikes on Wednesday come after hundreds of transport workers gathered in Martin Place last month to seek better standards across the Sydney bus network, including same-job same-pay protections and for the state government to take their share of responsibility for better work conditions.
Members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) took their second industrial action in six weeks earlier this year to call for better pay and conditions for workers, with NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Shaye Candish saying that “unless the government agreed to a meaningful dialogue on safe staffing ratios and recognised how much Queensland and Victoria had benefitted since introducing ratios, more staff would continue to leave NSW”.
Teachers took industrial action for the first time in more than a decade in December last year following breakdowns in negotiation with the state government.