The Victorian Liberal government is set to roll out a form of performance pay for teachers and schools staff.

But teachers want to fight. In October, the Minister for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall told principles that 20-40 per cent of their staff should not be awarded the annual increment rise on the pay scale toward the full teacher salary.

While the Australian Education Union (AEU) is battling the government in court over a “failure to consult about (these) changes”, a group of 30 rank and file AEU members held a speak out at State Parliament on Thursday 7 November.

Victorian teachers have taken action against performance pay

Angela Nolan, from St Albans Secondary College Sub Branch told the crowd that she feared performance pay would distort the curriculum, as teachers will be pushed to teach to “measurables” for fear of not getting closer to the full salary.

She said, “the focus for teachers will be taken away from these vital aspects of education—that of being a full human being. Of being empathetic, of having a sense of social justice, of having friendship … Our children will simply become numbers and data.”

More public action will be necessary, as the Liberals are clearly committed to punishing teachers for their own neglect of public schools. The rank-and-file will have to keep pushing the union officials to mobilise the 50,000 members to win this fight.

Lucy Honan

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