• Minister has known industrial action was coming for almost two weeks – but chose not to inform parents
  • Rockliff’s “disappointed” claim is extremely disingenuous
  • Government’s wage offer is – despite Minister’s claim – not fair or reasonable

The Hodgman Liberal Government has been aware of looming industrial action by Tasmanian public servants including teachers for almost two weeks but chose not to inform parents.

Shadow Education Minister Michelle O’Byrne said it was hypocritical and misleading for Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff to claim overnight that he was “disappointed” in teachers taking part in the action when he had chosen to ignore his duty of care and not tell parents until the last moment that schools would be affected.

“Mr Rockliff and the government were advised about potential action by teachers and other public servants on October 11 so if parents have questions about why they have received such short notice, those questions should be directed to the Minister,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“It’s the Minister’s responsibility and his duty to keep parents informed so why he chose to wait until less than 48 hours before this planned action – of which he was well aware – is a matter for the government.

“But it is extremely disingenuous for Mr Rockliff to now be trying to tell parents that he is suddenly disappointed and imply that this has come as a surprise.

“Mr Rockliff can claim that the government has listened to the public sector’s concerns that Tasmanian teachers are the lowest paid and worst resourced in the country – but the fact is he has not.

“Mr Rockliff can claim the government is making a fair wage offer but, again, the fact is it is not fair.”