Teachers, principals and education support staff working in Victorian government schools have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action to achieve a new schools agreement.
Australian Education Union Victorian Branch president Meredith Peace said the results of the ballot send a clear message to the Andrews Labor government.
“Premier Daniel Andrews and Education Minister James Merlino have not done enough to address the spiralling and unsustainable workloads of teachers, principals and education support staff in public schools.”
The ballot for protected industrial action has been overwhelmingly supported, with 97% of those who participated voting ‘YES’ to take action.
“Here are the facts," says Peace. “Victoria spends $1,384 less per public student compared to the national average. They receive less funding than their peers in every other state and territory.
“In order to make up for this funding shortfall, teachers, principals and education support staff work longer and harder.
“Public school teachers work an average of 15 unpaid hours every week. Public school principals work on average almost 60 hours each week and many education support staff report that they cannot complete their duties within their paid hours.
“These workloads lead to staff stress and burnout. Worryingly, almost one third of public school teachers are thinking of seeking work outside our schools.
“This should concern every parent in Victoria.
“Exhausted teachers with excessive workloads, teaching large classes can’t deliver the quality and support our children need and deserve.
“Premier Andrews and Minister Merlino must provide more funding for more teachers and more support staff, so that schools and staff have the time and resources they require to support every student’s needs.”
MEDIA CONTACT: ALYS GAGNON – 0438 379 977
7 October 2021