Orora High teachers protest

ORORA High School teachers held a stop-work meeting outside the school yesterday afternoon protesting government inaction on numerous issues.

Holding signs that read 'Where's the Minister?', 'Maintain teacher qualification standards' and 'Politicians get 6.7 per cent - teachers get 2.5?', more than 30 teachers received honks of support from passers-by.

NSW Teachers Federation representative from Orara High School, Richard Braithwaite, said the rolling stoppages - that are now entering their fourth week - are focused on three issues; the transfer system, an increase in wages, and keeping up the standard of teaching.

He said it was about achieving fairness and equity within the system.

“This is a three-pronged approach. We want negotiations opened up on re-implementing the transfer system, and we'd like to know why politicians have awarded themselves a 6.7 per cent wage increase, but given teachers only 2.5 per cent,” he said.

“And we also want to see the teaching qualification standards kept up - they've already dropped TAFE qualifications.”

He said hard-to-place schools will most definitely suffer if the transfer system is not re-introduced.

“People used to take positions at hard-to-place schools knowing they would be able to get a more desirable position later on. Now that's all out the window.”

Stoppages were also held at William Bayldon Public School.

Margaret Ross, federation representative for Bayldon said if the Government and Department of Education failed to listen, special needs children would be most at risk.

“Students with special needs are among the most at risk from the Department's decision to phase out teacher transfers. We can't allow the Department to walk away from its responsibility to provide the best education for all students,” she said.

Mr Braithwaite said the stop-work meetings will continue until the NSW Government agreed to sit down and negotiate.

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