• Teachers determined to put student welfare first – Rockliff is not
• Time for government to stop the blame game and negotiate in good faith
The Hodgman Liberal Government and Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff need to stop the blame game and hold genuine, sensible, good faith negotiations with Tasmanian teachers.
Shadow Education Minister Michelle O’Byrne said as teachers across the state announced plans to elevate industrial action, Mr Rockliff was doing every educator, every student and every parent a major disservice by refusing to listen.
“Once again we have educators across Tasmania being forced to take industrial action because this government is simply failing to listen,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“When they took earlier industrial action they advised the Minister but Jeremy Rockliff failed to ensure that parents were given enough notice.
“Teachers have taken the responsible decision to make sure that absolutely everyone in the community is aware of their pending action and now Mr Rockliff has to make a decision on how schools will operate.
“It’s really quite sad that teachers believe the only way that they can get the Minister to listen to them is by taking this type of action and their right to take that action is to be respected.
“Teachers are putting the welfare of students first. They want the additional resources so they can provide the best educational outcomes for Tasmanian children.
“There are two issues at play. One is that very soon our teachers will be the worst paid in the country and that is a significant issue in both retaining staff and attracting staff.
“The other issue is that teachers are saying that their workloads are now unmanageable, that class sizes are too large and they cannot respond to the individual needs of students.
“And for the Education Minister to dismiss and ignore those concerns is an indictment on Jeremy Rockliff.
“Disappointingly, nothing ever seems to be this government’s fault, according to this government. But now is the time to stop the blame game and sit down and negotiate in good faith to get an outcome that benefits both staff and students.”
Michelle O’Byrne MP is Shadow Minister for Education