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NSW teachers walk off the job this morning | #AusUnions

Teachers will walk off the job for two hours at schools across the state this morning to attend meetings where they will discuss government reforms to the education sector.

More than 2200 schools and about 750,000 students will be affected as teachers and principals leave work for two hours from 9am to meet at 130 venues across the state.

The Teachers Federation yesterday rejected an offer from the Education Department to hold the action outside school hours.

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission on Wednesday directed the union to consider the offer.

But Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said the government’s “Local Schools, Local Decisions” reforms were too damaging not to act.

“The anger that some parents will feel tomorrow will be nothing compared to the anger they will feel in the years to come when they see their kids’ class sizes increasing,” Mr Mulheron told reporters in Sydney.

“They intend to reduce the number of permanent teaching positions in our schools.

“There would be no guaranteed executive staff or specialist staff under the government’s reforms.”

The Teachers Federation says the government has developed its reform policy in secret without consulting teachers and is concerned the reforms are simply an exercise in cost cutting.

They want guarantees on staffing levels, curriculum, salaries and employment and are also worried about the lack of union representation on the steering committee charged with implementing the reforms.

The government argues the reforms will give principals control over at least 50 per cent of their staff and 70 per cent of their budget.

It also rejects claims there has been insufficient consultation with teachers but says it is considering an IRC direction to give teachers more input into how the reforms would be implemented.

The NSW opposition called on Premier Barry O’Farrell, who is currently in Lebanon, to intervene and prevent the stop-work meeting.

AAP

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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