Teachers across NSW will strike for 24 hours next week after the union decided to resume a campaign to improve pay, address teacher shortages and workloads.
The NSW Teachers Federation’s state executive met on Tuesday to consider the matter after striking last year before suspending action to negotiate with the government.
Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said teachers would walk off the job on Wednesday, May 4.
The union also placed a ban on implementing new government policies or initiatives and says members will walk out if NSW government MPs visit schools.
Mr Gavrielatos said Premier Dominic Perrottet had failed students, their parents, and the teaching profession.
“If we don’t pay teachers what they are worth, we won’t get the teachers we need,” he said.
It was “contemptuous” that the government was pursuing a new award with a 2.04 per cent salary cap, with no change to the “crippling” working conditions experienced by teachers, he said.
When inflation was running at 3.5 per cent and predicted to grow, that award would constitute a cut to teachers’ real income, he said.
“Acting on uncompetitive salaries and unsustainable workloads is the only way to stop more teachers leaving and attract the people into the profession we need to fix the shortages,” he said.
“The profession is now left with no alternative but to act in the interest of our students and our profession, and take industrial action,” he said.
In February there were 2383 permanent vacancies across 1251 NSW schools, he said.
“Government report after government report has stated the main reasons why people don’t want to enter the profession and why teachers don’t want to stay in the profession are unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries in NSW. ”
A new poll of 10,000 NSW teachers released on Tuesday found, 73 per cent say their workload was unmanageable and 70 per cent were reconsidering their position due to the workload.
NSW teachers went on a state-wide strike in November, in defiance of a ruling by the state’s industrial commission.
The premier said he was disappointed by the strike action, saying the government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent pay rise was “fair and reasonable”.