Premier Hodgman along with his Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff has arrogantly refused to take part in crucial wage negotiations with teachers leading to further disruptions for Tasmanian schools.
Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said the Liberal Government had not even bothered to meet a deadline for continued negotiations yesterday, pushing teaching staff to today reluctantly launch industrial action in a desperate bid to be heard.
“The Premier’s behaviour and his Minister’s patronising treatment of his workforce over the past nine months have now reached a flashpoint where teachers have no option but to take action,” Mr Willie said.
“Teachers do not take this action lightly and, if anything, they would prefer to avoid it.
“But Premier Hodgman has willfully pushed them into a corner and Minister Rockliff can no longer claim that wage negotiations are out of his hands.
“If Minister Rockliff was focused on recruiting and retaining the best teachers in our schools he’d break ranks with the Premier and Treasurer Gutwein and demand that they finally go to the table and negotiate realistically and in good faith.
“Minister Rockliff has been complicit during the government’s shameful disregard for meaningful, realistic wage negotiations, which have been dragging on since mid-2018.
“Now that Minister Rockliff has refused to take part in negotiations and forced teacher’s hands, he needs to rule out taking the lead of his colleague Health Minister Michael Ferguson who has taken the extraordinary step of docking nurse’s pay.
“Jeremy Rockliff must immediately rule out using aggressive tactics like docking pay or standing teachers down in Tasmanian schools.”
Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Education Minister