Teachers strike over public education workloads and pay

By Jackson Graham

Wednesday December 8, 2021

Sarah Mitchell
NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

A standoff remains simmering after thousands of NSW public school teachers took to Sydney streets calling for better pay and conditions, but the education minister, Sarah Mitchell, claims the demands are unreasonable. 

Teachers marched through Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday, claiming schools were burdened with high workloads, staff shortages and unreasonable salaries, amid a union push for an up to 7.5% yearly pay rise. 

The NSW government has offered a 2.5% wage increase, a maximum it can offer under current policy. 

The strike, which shut more than 350 schools, was hailed a success by the NSW Teachers Federation. 

Union president Angelo Gavrielatos, in a statement that warns of further industrial action, said avoiding more disruption was now up to premier Dominic Perrottet. 

“Mr Perrottet needs to consider carefully the anger and concern displayed today by teachers and principals in every corner of NSW,” Gavrielatos said. 

Education minister Sarah Mitchell blamed the union for creating more disruption to public education than the pandemic for this term. 

“I think it does a real disservice to our hard-working teaching profession. It really is pitting teachers, families and students against each other,” Mitchell told the ABC

Mitchell also wants wage negotiations to occur via the Industrial Relation Commission.

The teachers strike occurred alongside a second day of industrial action by the Rail Tram and Bus Union, who were striking over pay and safety concerns.


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