Teachers send warning: more to come

COFFS Coast parents could be in for a tough time as teachers across NSW sent a stark message to state the government yesterday.

"This will go on until you listen."

That was the clear comment to the Minister for Education, John Della Bosca, when teachers took industrial action against new employment procedures.

Regional organiser of the NSW Teachers Federation, Wayne Webber, said until the Minister sat down to negotiate an acceptable agreement with the federation, industrial action will continue.

"We had a really well supported rally along the coast. Hopefully, this will be the end of it," Mr Webber said.

However, he said it was unlikely.

"If the Minister would sit down and negotiate an agreement, then this would stop. We would much rather settle the dispute than take any more industrial action."

"I do see further local and statewide action. I see the Coffs Coast linking with western parts of NSW, I see us taking the Department of Education to court.

"What we're seeking is a registered industrial relations agreement that legally enforces class sizes, the number of teachers in regards to student numbers, and that there will be qualified teachers in our schools.

"That's the bigger agenda behind the proposed staffing changes, and until we get that it doesn't matter what they say now, they can change their mind at any time."

"It's up to the Minister. Until he wants to sit down and egotiate, we have no choice but to keep going."

The NSW Department of Education and Training denies they are being unreasonable, and have defended the claim they could change their mind at a whim.

Regional director for the North Coast, Carol Carrigan, said the union had been offered the new staffing procedures, including incentive, nominated and compassionate transfers, in a binding five-year agreement.

Meanwhile, Mr Della Bosca said he is prepared to work with the union.

"We're convinced that we've been very reasonable in this. If we need to be even more reasonable we will be, because we don't want anymore industrial disputes," he told AAP reporters.

"But again, public education can't take a backwards step on this."


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