As a result of Australian Education Union (AEU) industrial action next Tuesday (North) and Wednesday (South) the majority of schools in Tasmania will not be open until 10:30am.
Student safety is the Tasmanian Government’s number one priority and it has been determined that a delayed school opening time is necessary at 152 schools* where safety cannot be guaranteed while teachers walk off the job.
Parents and carers should ensure that children are dropped off after 10:30am at those schools that are opening later than usual and school bus timetables will not change on these days.
Individual schools will be communicating with parents about the revised school starting times and any other information through their normal channels.
This deliberately disruptive industrial action being taken by the AEU is extremely disappointing, considering the Government has offered the AEU a fair and affordable wages agreement which provides a 6 per cent pay rise over 3 years, and addresses key concerns about workload and class sizes.
After accusing the Government of not negotiating in good faith, the AEU leadership rejected the Government’s formal offer without even taking it to their members or proposing a counter offer.
Our offer contained the following key components:
- Providing a 6 per cent pay rise over 3 years, ensuring wages keep pace with inflation, while also enabling the Government to employ even more front line staff.
- Reducing the face-to-face teaching time for all primary school teachers from 22 to 20 hours a week, directly addresses teacher workload concerns, making their contact hours the lowest in the nation and allowing them more time for other important aspects of their work.
- Starting in 2019, the recruitment of an additional 95 new specialist teachers – this is on top of our election commitment to employ 250 new teachers and 80 new assistants. This would see dedicated specialist teachers such as maths, music, arts and sports teachers returned to Tasmanian primary schools for the first time in over 20 years.
This belligerent action by the union is going to affect thousands of families across Tasmania and Labor should condemn this and call on their union mates to call off the strike and come back to the negotiating table.
* The list of schools opening later is available on the Department of Education website. https://www.education.tas.gov.au/about-us/alerts/