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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Teachers’ strike

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I welcome the vote by NSW teachers to strike for the first time in a decade.

Teachers are leaving the profession in droves, not because of pay or unruly children (and parents), which frankly is nothing new, but because the workload has become untenable and demeaning.

After 20 years of teaching I walked out three years ago and have never looked back. Most of my time was taken up by bureaucratic nonsense. Yes, teachers plan lessons, mark work and write reports etc etc in their own time. But wasting time ticking boxes in the form of constant appraisal and accountability activities designed to make some useless git in head office look good isn’t my idea of efficiency.

And, as if the bureaucracy isn’t bloated enough, the government props up a whole cottage industry under the guise of ‘professional learning’ to support the constant merry-go-round of ‘policies’ that career politicians need to decorate their CVs.

The very people who should be assisting frontline workers are actually hindering them.

The absurd amount of paperwork expected from teachers today isn’t helping our students, schools, or staff, but only a select few of middle managers. Politicians and bureaucrats need to back off and let teachers do best what they’re meant to do – teach.

Strike for pay if need be, but above all, strike to improve working conditions and save the entire education system from impending disaster.

Simon Alderton, Murwillumbah

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