Reminder: NSW Schools Go On Strike Today

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The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) has requested a stop work meeting of teachers on Thursday, 8 December. The meeting is scheduled to end before school recess with classes commencing sometime after. As a result, some schools are asking parents to find "alternative arrangements" for children during the morning. Here's what you need to know.

Government schools across NSW will not function properly on Thursday due to ongoing negotiations over salaries and working conditions. Around 50,000 teachers are expected to walk off the job to vote on whether to accept an offer by the Department of Education.

"Federation members are authorised to make minimal supervision arrangements for students who attend school for the duration of the stop work meetings," the NSWTF explained in a letter to members.

"It is important, however, that the great majority of Federation members attend the stop work meetings to participate in the union’s democratic processes."

All classes are expected to resume by 11:30am on the same day. Some schools are asking parents to find alternative arrangements for children during the morning session.

Is your school affected?

Probably. The stop work meeting will affect more than 2000 primary and secondary schools. To find out how your school is affected, we advise contacting them directly. Alternatively, detailed information should be available on your school's official Facebook page.

Do your kids have to stay at home?

As mentioned, parents are being urged to find alternative arrangements for children during the morning session. With that said, schools will remain open for children who cannot find alternative arrangements - just don't expect them to learn much. Supervision is also expected to be minimal. (So if your kid gets bullied, keep 'em at home.)

Are buses still running?

The stop work meeting does not involve buses. However, most schools will not be providing an alternate timetable to accommodate the strike. In other words, you will need to drop your kids off yourself after recess.

Will there be more strikes?

In a letter to members, the NSW Teachers Federation hinted that more industrial action could be in the pipeline relating to "workload and related issues".


[Via NSWTF]


Comments

    OH FFS!!! If you don't like the wage, find another job. The unions these days are all about the money. Years ago they did wonders for the workers, safer conditions, better equipment, living wages. Nowdays unions bully their way for more money. I know if I owned a company and my workers striked for the fun of it, I would sack them and find people willing to work.

      They're not striking for the fun of it, they're on strike because they feel like they're underpaid or undervalued for the amount of work they put in.

      Considering the sort of work they do, I feel it's reasonable to try to ensure they're happy with their pay. If a job like teaching isn't paid well, then the quality of education will suffer as, indeed, the experienced teacher seek alternative work.

        Dear Colleague,
        Federation Council endorsed a decision on salaries and working conditions for recommendation to a vote by members at one hour stop work meetings on Thursday 8 December at venues across the state.
        These meetings are important for members to:
        • view a televised broadcast explaining (1) the terms of settlement for a new salaries and conditions award and (2) future campaign action to address workload and related issues; and
        • debate and vote on endorsing the settlement and future campaign action.

        I wonder how many other unions would have the clout to pull that many staff out of work to vote on something that a representative council has already approved.

        I'm FB friends with a lot of teachers, and wow, they've got a massive chip on their collective shoulders over the amount of work they think others think that they do. As a professional myself, there is no way that teachers do anywhere near the hours of work that I do (without providing any commentary about the quality or difficulty of that work). Yes, a 5-year out teacher doesn't get paid as much as I do over the course of a year, but I'd be incredibly surprised if they're not paid competitively on a per hour basis.

        In direct response to what you're saying - most Australians, at the moment, feel underpaid or undervalued. That's the state of the economy at the moment, and very few of us exist in that perfect storm of working for the government and being represented by an incredibly powerful union. Imagine the chaos if everyone who felt they were underpaid or undervalued was periodically striking at the moment - the economy would grind to a halt.

          I'd wager that you don't go home after 'work' and then put in another 6 hours until midnight doing preparation or marking or online PD courses that are 'voluntarily compulsory'.

          I'll bet you don't spend your holidays marking exams or again doing preparation for lessons.

          I'll be you don't spend your weekends or really any off 'work' time again doing school work, or thinking about school work, or gathering resources, or spending your own money (which you can never recover) buying 'something that looks useful in class'

          Yeah, teacher's get it easy... 6 hour days and 12 weeks 'off' a year... Maybe you should do the job!?

            No, of course I don't go home and work. I stay at work and work overtime, unpaid, like most professionals. I know plenty of teachers, I know that they often spend extra time outside of school hours - I'm not for a second suggesting that they're working 6 hour days. To suggest that teachers work until midnight is the same as me saying I work 14 hour days because it happens every now and then.
            Since I've clearly hit a nerve, educate me, tell me where my thinking is wrong here:
            40 weeks of classes, minus 4 weeks of annual leave = 36.
            12 weeks of break.
            How many hours do you think teachers are generally doing in those 36, and in those 12 weeks?
            And, I suppose, to your last exclamation, I never said teachers get it easy. The job is difficult, no doubt, but there are plenty of perks that others can only dream of.

      So, you want future generations to be taught by people on cleaner's wages?
      Most teachers don't teach for the money.
      Oh, yeah, and in the good old days, unions earned the 40hour week by having sing songs and writing letters to the editor. Give it a break. They earned victories by excising their collective strength, including GENERAL strikes. The only power workers have is to withdraw their labour.
      Teachers deserve every cent, I stand with them.

    Teachers are, by law, permitted to hold these strikes as they near the end of their contract. Teachers are only permitted to go on 'strikes' during these periods, which are not really strikes but negotiations over the renewal their contract. Teachers are just seizing an opportunity they are presented to negotiate over their rights and priveliges with due cause. These are not 'sporadic' strikes of dissatisfaction as many of you seem to perceive it to be. Stop antagonising these hardworking Australians, have some respect and appreciate the hard work that they do to nurture your children. Teachers (particularly in secondary schools) have to work after-hours putting up with rude emails from your children demanding help on their essays last minute, all the while coping with these sorts of remarks of people who consistently think so highly of themselves and find it appropriate to cut down the hard work of teachers. Maybe if you had some background research to support yourselves with, aside from bigotry and high self evaluation I would be convinced by a lot of these baseless arguments which, ultimately, bring about no change. Has the Australian sentiment fallen so low that we fail understand our own hipocrisy in complaining against these organised negotiations?

    Some interesting comments from people who aren't in the teaching profession. Many people think that because they went to school, they understand schools and teachers. However, I've yet to take a parent on a camp who hasn't said we earn our money. BTW, i've had parents wish me a happy holiday before camp. Camps in stage 3 (Grade 5 and 6) are about 4 days of little sleep and constant supervision.

    I've been in 20+ years now and the job has certainly become more difficult. I love working with children and I am one of those rare primary male teachers. For me it's not about the money but rather the working conditions.

    The system grinds us down. It seems to me that children and parents have all the rights while we have all the responsibility but none of the rights.
    Even in primary schools difficult children can systematically abuse teachers not to mention difficult parents. They make up a very small percentage of the student population but they have a majority of the effect.

    They can make any allegation and you are put through the investigative ringer and even if it is proved false, it still goes on your permanent record.

    The reality is that we lose 30 - 50 percent of new teachers in the first 5 years.
    http://theconversation.com/teachers-are-leaving-the-profession-heres-how-to-make-them-stay-52697
    It's something like 20% in the first year.

    I am constantly told that we want a first rate education system but when it comes to paying for and resourcing it, there is usually ....... silence or attacks like some of the above.

    For those of you who have children, imagine 25 - 30 in a classroom. Now factor in how challenging they can be at times. Even the best child can have bad days. This is not their fault as they are learning the skills that will make them an adult but there is usually some sort of issue everyday.

    For example: Recently a colleague was kicked and bitten by a stage 2 child in her class. She brought him to the office and then went back to class. I went to check on her and her class was being evacuated because a second student was destroying her room. As you would expect, she was very upset. Because it's a school, no one could give her time to collect herself as we are all teaching. This is not the first time this has happened and neither child has any sort of aid support.

    For those of you who support your school and teachers, many thanks. We are here because we want to help your children and we can't do it without you. Hopefully, some of you will think twice the next time you see a "teacher did me wrong" story on the news and realise, as much as we would like to, we can't tell our side of the story.

    We have spent more on education in recent times than in the past yet we have some of our most poor world rankings as recently released!

    I don't think money is the issue and as others have said many people have not had a pay increase in a few years due to the economic conditions yet government works seem to expect a set percentage each year no matter what??? How does that work and how can that possibly be sustainable?

    As you said if the system is grinding you down attack the system but do it outside of our kids education time, you are also pulling parents out of work and reducing our economy even further in tough times by your actions... Keep your work politics away from our children I say...

    If you are part of a union ask them to do their job thats what you pay them for right? The governments don't have money as many businesses were is this extra money they are demanding going to come from? In the real world we loose our job when there is not enough money in the system we don't ask for a pay rise especially during these times when so many have lost working and struggling to live day to day..

    End of rant

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