The Guardian November 5, 2003


NSW teachers angry at betrayal

NSW teachers have accused the NSW Government of making a 
"deliberate decision to denigrate and devalue the profession in 
the Industrial Relations Commission" and have warned that 
previous agreements must be honoured to ensure there will be no 
further industrial action.

"Teachers are angry that the state government has failed to 
honour commitments given before and after the last state 
election", said NSW Teachers' Federation (NSWTF) President Maree 
O'Halloran, after a meeting of the union's State Council.

"The Government is attacking the teaching profession, delaying 
the salaries case and holding the Industrial Relations Commission 
to ransom by refusing to make additional money available to fund 
any increase awarded by the Commission above the 3% per year 
offered by the Government."

The NSWTF has warned that as a consequence teachers may be forced 
to take further industrial action this year and again next year 
when schools reopen."

The teachers have called on the NSW Government to:

1) Agree to fully fund from Treasury any increase in pay awarded 
by the Industrial Relations Commission and not reduce some other 
area of the Public Education Budget to pay for the increase. The 
State Government has a hefty surplus and can afford to pay.

2) Follow the example set by Catholic school employers and advise 
the Industrial Relations Commission that they recognise and agree 
there has been a significant increase in the workload and value 
of teachers' work. This action would honour the commitment given 
by the Minister Dr. Refshauge on the May 13, 2003.

3) Keep its promise that a new award will be in place by January 
1, 2004 and ensure that pay increases are paid from that date.

"The Government's agreement to honour their previous reasonable 
and sensible commitments would ensure there will be no further 
industrial action", said Ms O'Halloran.

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