Teachers threaten Thursday strike
South Australia’s public school teachers will go on strike again on Thursday unless the state government increases its latest pay offer.
Public school teachers rally at Parliament House during their first strike on September 1. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily
The Australian Education Union late yesterday rejected the government’s latest offer within hours of it being delivered, and warned the government it had two days to come up with a better deal or teachers would walk off the job on Thursday.
The union plans to rally outside the Education Department’s Flinders St office at at 11.30am before marching to Parliament House.
The AEU website announces strike action.
AEU branch president Andrew Gohl said it the union executive had no choice but to knock back the deal.
“This offer is essentially the same as, if not worse, than the last,” he said.
“Since taking industrial action in September, we have been negotiating with the Government and expected today’s offer to reflect those discussions. It is disappointing to see such contempt.
“Under these conditions, teachers in some schools still won’t see any real workload relief for seven years, and by that time, half will have already left the profession. The meagre 0.5% difference in salary will see some educators worse off in real terms.”
The latest pay offer rejected yesterday deal was worth about $1.4 billion, up from a previous offer of $1.3 billion, and includes “the biggest shakeup of disability funding in the South Australian education system”.
Over the three years of the government’s rejected offer, teacher salaries would have risen by 4 per cent in the first year, by 3 per cent in the second year, and by 2.5 per cent in the third year.
“The substantial step-up to 4 per cent in the first year is in direct response to the Union’s call to having something very early in the life of the agreement that deals with salary and cost-of-living,” Education Minister Blair Boyer said yesterday afternoon.
Gohl said teachers last week voted 83 per cent in favour of strike action if demands were not met.
“This result is indicative of a system which has not seen adequate investment in many years, and our teachers have reached breaking point,” he said.