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August 5, 2021

Mullum High strike ‘inaccurate’ and ‘misleading’ say Education Department

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The Department of Education has accused the Teachers Federation of being inaccurate and misleading following last week’s teachers strike at Mullumbimby High School.

‘The Teachers Federation’s statement about their meeting at Mullumbimby School on July 15 is inaccurate and intentionally misleading,’ said a spokesperson for the Education Department told The Echo.

‘It is disappointing and irresponsible for the Teachers Federation to be misleading the community, particularly as schools respond to the pandemic.

‘The statement that several head teacher positions have been advertised and remain unfilled is incorrect. All head teacher positions are filled. While the school counsellor is on leave the Senior Psychologist Education (SPE) has attended the school daily to support students,’ said the spokesperson.

Responding to the accusation from the Teachers Federation that ‘the Gallop Inquiry into the work of teachers found earlier this year that uncompetitive salaries for teachers and unsustainable workloads are leading to teacher shortages’ an Education Department spokesperson said told The Echo that teachers in NSW are receiving a 2.5 per cent pay rise, as announced in this year’s budget and that the Teachers Federation has an impending award negotiation.

‘There is no “teacher shortage’” in NSW,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The current vacancy rate of teaching positions represents less than two per cent of the overall workforce.

We work closely with all schools, including Mullumbimby High School, on vacancies. So far this year we have filled almost 3,200 teaching positions and hired almost 10,000 teachers since 2017.

‘In the 2021/22 NSW Budget $124.8 million was committed to achieve the initiatives included in the Teacher Supply Strategy due for release later this year. The strategy will build on substantial existing investment to boost the supply of quality teachers.’

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  1. The word I hear ‘on the street’ from teachers in the Lismore region is definitely more in alignment with what the Mullum teachers are saying than what the Education Dept says here!! Teachers are working their proverbials off under very difficult conditions with constantly increasing admin on their plate cutting into their teaching time and I hear they are the lowest or near lowest paid of professional qualification roles of similar degrees
    I’m not a teacher but as a layperson with talkative teacher friends the Mullum teachers reasoning seems to be more in line with reality than the Education Dept.


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