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Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

Hundreds of Northern Rivers teachers joined the strike

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Hundreds of public school teachers from the Northern Rivers region joined the 15,000 strong Hundreds of local public school teachers joined Tuesday’s strike calling for better conditions and pay. Photo suppliedSchool Strike

Hundreds of public school teachers from the Northern Rivers region joined the 15,000 strong Teachers Federation members NSW strike on Tuesday calling for better conditions and pay.

The local teachers gathered at The Tweed River Jockey Club near Murwillumbah as part of the public strike.

The teachers taking strike action called on the Government to urgently act on the teacher shortage and its underlying causes, uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads,’ said the NSW Teacher’s Federation

Principal of The Channon Public School, Steve Manser told the assembled teachers at the Murwillumbah strike that teachers needed more Release From Face to Face (RFF), a lower workload and better pay.

‘Two hours of preparation each week is not enough; so teachers end up doing a huge amount of work in their own time that they are not paid for,’ said one teacher who attended the rally but asked not to be named.

‘Teaching is a noble profession, it is an art. It is a profession that takes years to master,’ Mr Manser told the assembled teachers.

‘The Department of Education has allowed people’s opinions of teachers to change over many decades.

‘My parents grew up and went to public schools in the 1960s. They tell me that teachers were some of the most highly respected members of the community across NSW. They had a name in the community, they had integrity because they were valued because of the challenging job they had.

‘’Multiple governments have, over the decades have lost sight of what it means to be a teacher. This has resulted in a paradigm shift across the wider community over many generations since then.

Teachers of today are not known, cared or valued. Because our own department to has failed to back us. Minister Mitchell has the opportunity to leave a legacy. If she could stand tall, support us and be recognised for an Education Minster that represented public education and its teachers.

Minister Mitchel can leave a legacy by giving us more than just thanks. Minister Mitchel could go down in history as the minister that approved better pay, more RFF and less workload which would be appreciated and welcomed. But right now Minister Mitchel your decision making is about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.

‘Reforms have led to a data-driven profession where teachers don’t have the time to feel known, valued and cared for.

‘As a teacher and leader of my school I’m calling for change. I need help if I am going to stay in this profession, I need help it the department is going to continue to send a barrage of reforms across our desks. I need help if I am going to survive the next 25 years of the pressures of a crippling workload. We are seeing more and more teachers leaving the workforce in the first seven years. We are seeing more experienced teachers and leaders retiring early under the strain of so much change. We are seeing less teachers come into the profession.’


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing has changed. I retired from the Queensland system 13 years ago. Politicians who have never understood the pedagogy and skill teachers bring make decisions based around populist myths generated by their constituents. These myths perpetuate because everyone has been to school and therefore think they are an expert.

    Public school teachers are a soft target as successive LNP state and federal governments pout unwarranted money into private schools.

    There is strength in unionism. Good on the NSWTF. Just so you know where to put the LNP on your ballot.

  2. My experience of Public schooling is a bit different to yours Pat.
    Combined classes, blatant waste of funds, left-wing politics, endemic bullying, dud “life-style” teachers, Principals with blatant self-interest – the list goes on and on.
    So we pulled our two out from a local city public school and transferred them over to the private Catholic system.
    I am not a Catholic and a single wage-earner on a below average income – so it was a major decision for our family.
    While not perfect in every respect, we were greatly encouraged by better teaching standards, subject enthusiasm and much less waste.
    The children really blossomed in ethics, happiness/personal respect and academic successes.
    No wonder Australia is lagging behind SE Asia with these misguided departmental types in charge of our children.
    After repeatedly going on politically-based strikes, demanding more pay for inferior performances – then bemoaning bitterly they have less community respect !

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