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Issue #1553      27 June 2012

Vic teachers to continue industrial action

Australian Education Union Victoria’s branch council has endorsed further industrial action as part of the Victorian public teachers and principals Enterprise Bargaining Agreement campaign.

The union’s joint primary and secondary sector council rejected the radical proposals raised in the Baillieu government’s Vision Discussion Paper June 2012 and urged the government to return to the negotiating table.

AEU Victoria branch president Mary Bluett said the State Council was disappointed in the Baillieu government and saw its Discussion Paper as a ploy to detract from the real issue that the Premier had broken his promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the nation.

In light of the government’s refusal to negotiate a fair deal, the AEU will embark on a comprehensive and long-term campaign involving bans and limitations, a 24-hour stop work in Term 3 and rolling regional stoppages in Term 4.

The union will also continue its political campaign, targeting the Premier, Minister Hall, Minister Dixon and a range of marginal Coalition seats.

A resolution setting a deadline for negotiations for Education Support Staff in schools was also passed.

“Victorian public teachers and principals do not take industrial action lightly, but in this case, it is crucial to ensure quality teachers remain in this state and in our profession,” Bluett said.

“Victorian public teachers and principals deserve real offers around the major issues of salaries, class sizes, workload and the high levels of contract employment.

“Almost one in five teachers (18%), and 47% of beginning teachers are currently on short-term contracts. This is particularly discouraging for those looking to enter and stay in the profession.

“Teachers in Western Australia and New South Wales at the top of the incremental scale are paid $7,441 and $2,822 respectively more than Victorian teachers for doing the same work.

“To ensure every Victorian student receives the education they deserve, we need to attract and retain the best quality teachers. As endorsed by the State Council today, we urge the Baillieu government to return to the table and to negotiate in good faith in line with their election pledge,” she said.

Community members can show their support for Victorian public teachers and principals by joining the My School Needs campaign.  

Next article – Watch out for Abbott on the GST

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