The AEU’s industrial action tomorrow is extremely disappointing given that the Government has employed an extra 142 teachers and 193 teacher assistants since 2014.

The AEU has been telling parents that this strike action is about smaller class sizes and teacher workload, and not money – that is wrong.

The Government is hiring another 250 teachers and 80 teacher assistants over the next 6 years to address teacher workload and class sizes.

An increase of more than 6 percent in wages over 3 years actually threatens our capacity to deliver on this commitment.

As for teacher salaries, these are the facts:

  • Tasmanian teachers are paid the third highest hourly rate in the country.
  • Tasmanian teachers have the equal second lowest hours per week in the country, at 35 hours per week.
  • Tasmanian graduates are paid in the middle of the pack.

By offering a 2 percent wage increase, which is on top of the annual increments received by teachers, we can keep the budget in balance and invest in more teachers, more support staff and better school infrastructure.

The last thing the Government wants to do is close a school and see the learning experience for students disrupted.

Parents will quite rightly be asking why the AEU has chosen to strike within school hours instead of protesting at an alternative time which would not impact on students and their families.