NSW teachers will continue their campaign for salary and staffing justice with statewide stopwork meetings on November 19.
They will hear details of a special claim for an immediate 5 per cent pay rise made to the Industrial Relations Commission by the union, under the current award, to compensate for increased cost of living expenses.
There is likely to be a recommendation from union officials for continued local actions, including rallies at local parliamentarians electoral offices, to address further matters of statewide staffing arrangements and proposed trade-offs in the next three-year award.
The NSW Labor government revealed its pay offer of 4.7 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent over the next three years. This represents a pay cut, after inflation (officially at 5 per cent).
Worse still, the government is maintaining its austerity policy of trade offs for any pay rise over 2.5 per cent. These include cuts to sick leave and workers compensation, at the same time as there are extra hours to be worked in TAFE, additional lessons to cover for sick colleagues and increased paper work associated with external accreditation standards.
The NSW Department of Education has made an application to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission to hear the proposed new award.
With the NSW government on the nose over failures of public infrastructure funding such as the North-West metro rail link, as well as school and hospital funding, now is the time for the Teachers Federation to call protest action outside State Parliament.
In late October prison officers rallied against the proposed privatisation of two NSW prisons. Privatisation of the retail arms of the energy providers, ferries and TAFE colleges are now on the government’s wish list.
Teachers should rally, as part of united Unions NSW action demanding investment in public services, not funding cuts that will cause a spiralling decrease in wages, spending and secondary employment.
By John Morris
Rally at NSW Education Minster Verity Firths electoral office, Balmain
4.30pm Wednesday November 19
Call John Gauci 0413 310 452