The AEU has set the State Government a deadline of 12 February to significantly progress negotiations, following a meeting with Premier Will Hodgman and a meeting of the union’s elected Branch Executive today.
“We welcomed the opportunity to meet face to face with the Premier and he appeared genuinely engaged in the education issues we raised on behalf of our 5,500 teacher, principal and support staff members,” said Roz Madsen, AEU Tasmania State Manager.
“While the talks were constructive nothing has changed and a sticking point remains the State Government’s political position of paying Tasmanian teachers the least in the country,” Ms Madsen said.
“We’re on the eve of the new school year and educators want a resolution to key workload and pay issues so Executive has set the State Government a deadline of 12 February to have significantly progressed negotiations.
“If there’s no progress by this deadline then our Executive, at its meeting on 14 February, may decide to escalate campaign action which could include work bans and stop work action.”
Figures released by the ABS recently showed that inflation was now running at 3% in Tasmania.
“Inflation means the State Government’s wages offer of 2% not only relegates Tasmanian teachers to lowest paid in the country but also sends their living standards backwards,” she said.
“Mr Hodgman says he wants to lead the nation in education and to do that we have to attract and retain the brightest educators through competitive wages otherwise our kids will miss out on the quality education they deserve.”
Meanwhile, AEU members will hold 30-minute Stop Work meetings on Monday, 4 February (student free day), to update members on negotiations and Executive’s plan for escalated action should the Government fail to significantly progress negotiations.
The AEU will join the other unions in a follow-up meeting with the Premier to be scheduled within the next two weeks.