The workload crisis in Tasmanian schools and educator anger at disrespectful treatment by the Hodgman Government was in full view over two days of stop work action, the AEU said today.

Around 4,500 AEU teachers, principals and support staff filled stadiums and meeting venues in 20 locations across the state.

“We’ve just witnessed the biggest action by teachers, principals and support staff in 20 years and it shows the depth and breadth of the crisis in education that means kids are now at risk of missing out on quality education,” said AEU Tasmania State Manager Roz Madsen.

“This should send a deafening message to Premier Will Hodgman that there is a crisis in education and he needs to act now,” said Ms Madsen.

“The unprecedented numbers of teachers and support staff participating in this action shows the depth and the breadth of concern about the impact unmanageable workload is having on quality education and student learning.

“The Hodgman Government needs to act now to lower class sizes, enable more time for lesson planning and offer a competitive salary that stops our most experienced teachers being the lowest paid in Australia.

“Tasmanian teachers have the highest workloads through managing kids with the complex needs and the Hodgman Government wants to relegate them to lowest paid in the country – that is a disgrace.

“If Mr Hodgman is serious about ‘leading the nation in education’ he needs to address crippling workload to enable teachers to focus on learning and lesson planning and offer a salary that means we can attract and retain the best and brightest educators.

“We call on Premier Will Hodgman to step up and show leadership and address educator concerns as a matter of urgency because teachers, principals and support staff want nothing more than to be in classrooms and focused on teaching and learning.”

United Voice and CPSU members working in education also took part in the stop work action.