Tomorrow’s Union industrial action is designed to cause disruption to families and to a range of essential services, in order to push for a bigger pay rise.

Parents will struggle to understand why the Education Union is cutting school days short when teachers are being offered a six per cent pay rise over three years.

It is a cynical move by Unions to disrupt school days and other public services to push for a bigger pay rise, when the pay rise the Government is offering is already above what most working Tasmanians in the private sector will receive.

Let’s be clear – the Union action tomorrow is not about teacher workload.

The Government is employing 250 more teachers to help address teacher workload and deliver a high quality education for Tasmanian students. We’re also employing more nurses, more doctors, more child protection officers, more park rangers – more staff and resources across our public service so we can provide the essential services Tasmanians need.

Our offer of a 6 per cent pay rise over the next three years is fair and affordable, and it allows us to employ all of these extra staff. An extra 1 per cent increase above the Government’s wages policy would cost an extra $28 million to the budget – eating into the amount available to hire more teachers, nurses and doctors.

It’s completely contradictory for Unions and Labor to on one hand be calling for more investment in essential services, and on the other wanting to spend an extra $28 million a year without gaining a single extra nurse, teacher or doctor.

If the Unions wanted to avoid disrupting parents by forcing schools to close early tomorrow, they could have moved their industrial action back an hour. By scheduling their action at a time which forces 65 Tasmanian schools to close early, it’s clear they always planned to cause disruption.