AEU Tasmania’s elected Branch Councillors representing schools, colleges and TAFE held an Education Forum in Parliament House today to talk to politicians about concerns over workload and pay, the AEU said today.
All members of parliament were invited to attend and hear first-hand from teachers, principals and support staff from around the state about the issues impacting on quality education.
“Politicians heard the individual stories from teachers about how issues such as large class sizes, administrative tasks and lack of time for lesson planning is impacting the quality of education they can deliver,” said Roz Madsen, AEU Tasmania State Manager.
“Tasmanian teachers have the highest workload teaching the kids with the most complex needs and our most experienced educators are lowest paid – that is unsustainable on both counts,” said Ms Madsen.
“Support Staff earn as little as $25,000 and the Hodgman Government refuses to raise allowances for any of the complex tasks they undertake like peg feeding or consider a pay rise of more than 2%.”
“In TAFE, teachers are swamped by bureaucracy and administrative tasks which are impacting teaching and learning and they are losing teachers to the private sector where they can earn more.”
Party leaders Cassy O’Connor and Rebecca White addressed the forum, as did Sue Hickey who was the only Liberal member to attend.
“We were disappointed that Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff was unable to attend and even more disappointed that Treasurer Peter Gutwein and Premier Will Hodgman didn’t even bother to respond to the invitation,” said Ms Madsen.
“Will Hodgman’s senior Ministers have attacked the motivation and actions of teachers, support staff and principals via the media and in parliament but didn’t have the gumption to the meet them face to face today.”
AEU’s elected Branch Executive, comprising serving teachers and support staff, rejected the Hodgman Government’s offer which was a 2% pay rise with no immediate fixes to core critical workload issues.
“Educators are voting with their feet on the Hodgman Government’s offer and we’ve seen a more than doubling of workplaces closing for the next round of industrial action,” said Ms Madsen.
AEU members, in schools, colleges and TAFE, will attend morning stop work meetings next week on Tuesday in the North and North West, and Wednesday in the South. They will be joined in the action by members from CPSU and United Voice who work in education.