Teachers to strike over demands for a 30 per cent pay rise over three years.
Thousands of Victorian public school teachers have voted to walk off the job on Thursday 7th June in their bid for better pay and conditions.
The state government has offered teachers annual pay rises of 2.5 per cent, with any further increases needing to be offset by productivity gains.
Before winning power, Premier Ted Baillieu pledged Victorian teachers would be the best paid in the nation.
The teachers’ union wants a 30 per cent pay increase over three years, maximum class sizes of 20 and fewer short-term contracts.
Australian Education Union Victorian branch president Mary Bluett said a ballot of members had overwhelmingly voted to strike next Thursday.
“We are very mindful that stop work action does inconvenience parents,” she said.
“We do not take this action lightly and we wouldn’t be taking this action if Ted Baillieu had kept his promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid.
“In the end, your children’s education depends on us being able to keep our quality teachers teaching here in Victoria.”
There would be staff available at schools to care for students whose parents had been unable to make alternative arrangements, Bluett said.
Some 10,000 teachers are expected to rally next Thursday at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena.
“We do anticipate, sadly, a long campaign. We will try in that campaign to maximise the bans and limitations that target the department and government ministers and limit the amount of industrial action,” she said.
“But I don’t think a one-day 24-hour stoppage will be the end of it.”