Victoria Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall
Move To Halt Further Union Disruption To Schools
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government has moved to stop further strike action planned by the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) that would disrupt the education of children at government schools and greatly inconvenience families and their workplaces.
Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession Peter Hall said that the AEU had stepped over the mark when it directed its members not to write student reports and to now ban school camps and extra-curricular activities.
“The Coalition Government will no longer tolerate actions like the planned state-wide strike on February 14 that will cause significant disruption to the start of the school year and to the education of Victorian government school students.” Mr. Hall said.
“Today we are urging the unions to call off their escalated industrial action which puts at risk school camps, excursions, school fetes and sporting activities. In addition, union members have indicated they won’t be undertaking essential parts of the teaching role, such as assessment, reporting and marking.”
The Coalition Government has notified the unions that it believes some elements of their current log of claims are illegal.
“We have informed the unions that if they do not cease their threatened industrial action by January 29, it is the Coalition Government’s intention to seek an injunction from the Federal Court, under the Fair Work Act, to prevent such actions.” Mr. Hall said.
The Coalition Government has invited the unions to meet in the week commencing 28 January to resume discussion towards a resolution of this prolonged dispute.
“All teachers received a 2.75 % salary increase last year, putting teachers’ salaries in the range of $56,985 for a graduate teacher to $91,883 for a leading teacher at the top of the salary scale. The AEU is denying its members further increases by now refusing to negotiate.” Mr. Hall said.
“We are prepared to talk business with the union. If the AEU want more than a 2.5 % salary increase for their members, then they need to talk to us about how student learning outcomes can be improved and how teachers can contribute to that improvement.”