The New South Wales government must act now to address the teacher shortage or risk the future of the economy and social fabric of the state and country.
That’s Deniliquin High School Teachers Federation representative Bethany Sterling’s warning ahead of a 24-hour teachers’ strike tomorrow.
Miss Sterling said with 2,500 permanent teaching vacancies across the state – including four at Deni High – there are ‘not enough’ teachers to ensure every class can be taught the way children want. teachers.
In some cases, classes are merged and split between available teachers.
This sometimes leads to up to 30 children in a class.
In other cases, temporary staff are brought in to cover the courses.
Neither is ideal for teachers, who argue that teaching outcomes are likely to be compromised by disruption.
And Miss Sterling said lack of resources and dismal teacher pay are forcing people away from teaching as a career.
“The intention of the strike is to draw attention to the shortage of staff, the lack of resources and that we are overworked and underpaid.
“The pay raises we’ve had don’t match inflation, so we’ve practically taken a pay cut.
“It is less and less desirable to enter the profession, and these are still the same messages we hear from our nurses, from the buses and from the trains.
“The government does not support the workers.
“At Deni High there are four vacancies with some being filled by temporary staff and even our principal (Glen Warren).
“There simply aren’t enough teachers and it’s the students who are missing out, hampering our future economy and society.”
As part of the 24 hour strike, a work stoppage meeting will be held at Deniliquin RSL from 9am tomorrow morning.
Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos will address those present via video link.
“All members of the Federation are invited to attend and come together as a collective voice,” Ms Sterling said.
Mr Gavrielatos said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet had “failed students, their parents and the teaching profession“.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need,” he said.
“That the government is pursuing a new decision that seeks to impose a salary cap of 2.04%, without changing the crippling working conditions experienced by the profession for a period of three years, is dismissive.
“At a time when inflation is 3.5% and expected to rise, this would constitute a reduction in the real income of teachers.
“Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to prevent teacher departures and attract the people into the profession we need to address shortages.
“The profession now has no choice but to act in the interests of our students and our profession, and to take industrial action.
“One of the most fundamental roles of a government is to ensure that there is a qualified teacher in every classroom with the time and support to meet the needs of every child.
“Government report after government report has indicated that the main reasons why people do not want to enter the profession and why teachers do not want to stay in the profession are unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries.”
Mr Gavrielatos said the solution to the teacher shortage and its causes, the unsustainable working conditions and uncompetitive salaries cannot be addressed or resolved in the Industrial Relations Commission.
“The government’s own regulations effectively prevent the IRC from addressing the causes of teacher shortages,” he said.
“His own regulations will achieve a predetermined outcome consistent with the government’s 2.5% salary cap.”