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Issue #1554      4 July 2012

NSWTF congratulates members

The presidential officers of the NSW Teachers Federation have congratulated members for sending a strong message to the O’Farrell government in support of secure staffing and resourcing guarantees in public schools.

Thousands of teachers attending stop work meetings endorsed the executive resolution and made a commitment to continue the campaign in defence of the quality of our students’ public education.

Federation president, Maurie Mulheron has expressed his thanks to teacher activists, Federation officers and staff across the state who organised meetings and worked to make the day a success.

Delegates from schools across the state will meet in Sydney for the Federation’s Annual Conference starting on Sunday July 1. Conference delegates will consider plans for future action in support of the campaign.

Threats to funding and teaching jobs

The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has refused to endorse the “Putting Students First Charter”, putting at risk funding and staffing of schools.

The Minister’s letter of June 22, 2012, sent by the Director-General to all teachers today, refused to guarantee that:

  • the education budget would be maintained in real terms
  • permanent teaching positions would not increase class sizes
  • specialist and executive positions would not be decreased

The minister has exposed the cost cutting agenda of the government by excising the words “in real terms” from the commitment to education funding levels. As the education budget has increased by an average of 6% per year for the past ten years, the minister’s funding commitment could result in an annual cut of up to 6 % per year each year.

The minister did not respond to other aspects of the charter such as executive structures, Award arrangements and cooperative decision making in schools.

The minister’s and Premier’s refusal to provide these guarantees means that the teaching profession had to take action in defence of the quality of our students’ public education.

Piccoli responded to the strike by calling for the NSWTF to be fined $220,000 for the action. A bill to increase fines to that amount for further industrial action is currently in the state’s upper house. The bill would allow the Industrial Relations Commission for the first time to make unions pay costs for acting against an order.  

Next article – Dads and partners now have legal right to time off

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