The Guardian February 26, 2003


Teachers act to move the Queensland Government

Queensland teachers decided to continue rolling stopwork meetings across 
Queensland as the State Labour Government once again refused to reduce 
class sizes.

The Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) said a meeting with Education Minister 
Anna Bligh was a major disappointment  the State Government was unwilling 
to fund additional teachers to address class size problems in schools.

A meeting in the Industrial Relations Commission concluded without any 
progress on major issues.

At least 18 schools have already voted to hold stopwork meetings in protest 
at the State Government's bungling of enterprise bargaining negotiations.

QTU President Julie-Ann McCullough said the Government's failure to move on 
class size problems was an insult to teachers and students.

She said it was intolerable that the Education Minister refused to 
negotiate properly on issues that would have a direct positive effect on 
students.

"Class sizes and student behaviour are the big ticket items for teachers 
during this enterprise bargaining process and the Government is 
stonewalling all our attempts to improve conditions for students.

"Teachers have been seeking proper talks for seven months and all we get is 
hollow talk from a Government not prepared to back up its Smart State 
rhetoric with action", said Ms McCullough.

The current enterprise bargaining agreement for teachers expires on 
February 28.


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