School staff join statewide campaign for better pay and conditions

Public school teachers, principals and support staff across Victoria are joining the campaign launched by the AEU for a new Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA) which nominally expired last Friday.

Excessive workloads for principals, teachers and support staff must be addressed by the government in a new agreement through the employment of additional staff in our public schools.

“Government school teachers, principals and support staff are overworked and underpaid,” says Australian Education Union Victoria president Meredith Peace.

“Teachers in local public schools work an average of 15 hours of unpaid overtime every week. Principals are working almost 60 hours per week.

“Each year, every government school student in Victoria receives $1,384 less funding compared to public school students in all other states and territories. It is teachers who have to make up for the funding gap.

“This is leading to stress and burnout, as shown in our latest State of our Schools survey.”

More than 10,000 teachers, principals, and support staff responded to the survey. The data shows that almost half of teachers are regularly thinking of leaving the classroom, with the vast majority reporting that reduced workloads would be the best way of retaining teachers in the profession. 

“We want every Victorian child to have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. That’s why school staff go the extra mile for their students” says Ms Peace.

“Despite their professionalism, exhausted teachers with excessive workloads and teaching large classes can’t deliver the quality and support our children need and deserve.

“Teachers must be provided with the time and professional trust they need to focus on their core work of teaching and learning.

“Principals burdened by excessive administration and compliance do not have a manageable workload and cannot easily provide the educational leadership needed to deliver the best education to their school communities.

“We need more funding for more teachers and more trained support staff, so that principals, teachers and support staff have the time and support they require during their working week to support every student’s needs,” says Peace.

MEDIA CONTACT: AFSAH HAQUE – 0410 860 435

See full State of our Schools survey report for overall results.

Regional breakdowns of key findings also available upon request for Ballarat (Central Highlands), North East Victoria (Hume), Gippsland, Bendigo and Geelong.

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