AEU state council endorses escalation of industrial campaign: 24-hour statewide strike set for Sept 5
03 August 2012
Branch Council agreed that the next 24-hour statewide stopwork between Victorian public teachers, principals and potentially support staff will take place on September 5.
AEU Victorian branch president Mary Bluett said council was disappointed that the Baillieu Government had failed to revise its offer in the wake of the June 7 stopwork.
"The AEU state council has today unanimously endorsed escalating the industrial campaign, which will include further bans and limitations, rolling regional stoppages in Term 4, political activity and additional stopworks.
"In the event no agreement is reached by the end of this school year, the AEU State Council has endorsed another statewide stopwork meeting of all members on February 14, 2013 to plan further industrial action.
"The AEU will continue its political action campaign which will target the Premier, Minister Peter Hall, Minister Martin Dixon and a range of marginal coalition seats.
"Victorian public teachers and principals deserve real offers around the major issues of salaries, class sizes, workload and the high levels of contract employment.
"Almost one in five teachers (18%), and 47% of beginning teachers are currently on short-term contracts. This is particularly discouraging for those looking to enter and stay in the profession.
"Teachers in Western Australia and New South Wales at the top of the incremental scale are paid $7,441 and $2,822 respectively more than Victorian teachers for doing the same work.
"Support staff remain the lowest paid in our schools and receive little or no recognition of their skills, experience and the crucial role they play. 43 per cent of Victorian state school support staff are on contracts.
"After almost six months of negotiations for a new agreement for support staff, the Baillieu Government had refused to make any reasonable offers around the major issues of salaries, contract employment and is now attacking existing employment conditions.
"Support staff have never taken industrial action in Victoria's history, but are poised to do so because of their treatment by the Baillieu Government.
"Pending the outcome of a protected action ballot, Victorian state school support staff will join teachers and principals in a historic statewide stopwork on September 5.
"We do not take industrial action lightly, but in this case, it is crucial to ensure quality teachers, principals and support staff remain in this state and in our profession.
"To ensure every Victorian student receives the education they deserve, we need to attract and retain the best quality teachers, principals and support staff to our schools.
"We urge the Baillieu Government to return to the table and to negotiate in good faith in line with their election pledge.
"We encourage community members to show their support for Victorian public teachers and principals by joining the campaign at myschoolneeds.com.au," Ms Bluett said.
Resolution endorsed by Council
That Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council authorises the calling of a 24 hour statewide stopwork on Wednesday 5 September, 2012 of principals, teachers and para-professional members in the schools sector and subject to the declaration of a successful Protected Action Ballot Order, Education Support staff in the schools sector over the failure of the Baillieu Government to return to negotiations with a revised offer, following the June 7 stopwork and the breakdown in ES negotiations.