Tasmanian educator Stop Work action will ramp up next week as staff once again walk off the job demanding solutions to the state’s education crisis critically impacting student learning.
Tasmanian schools and colleges are at breaking point, with recent 50 per cent spikes in educator resignations and stress leave claims.
Educators and parents are now increasingly reporting how student learning is being affected by the dire situation in Tasmanian schools and colleges, amid a chronic teacher shortage and higher instances of collapsed classes.
Australian Education Union Tasmania President David Genford said educators felt they had no choice but to act, with state-wide Stop Work events being held next Wednesday from 12:30pm.
“Stop work action is always a last resort for teachers and support staff, but sadly the situation in our schools and colleges has got so bad that they feel it’s the only way forward,” he said.
“It’s incumbent on the Rockliff Government to deliver the solutions presented to it by educators or it’s likely our rising teacher attrition rate will only climb higher.
“It is not fair on our students, many of whom are being shuffled around classrooms each day – some going to classes in younger years – because they don’t have a teacher available.
“This is having a real impact on student learning and the future of our education system depends on real reform being achieved today.”
Hobart mother of primary school-aged children Siobhan Marriott said she felt compelled to volunteer in her children’s school to ensure students there aren’t missing out.
“Parent support shouldn’t be filling the gaps, it should be the cream on top,” she said.
“A friend of mine is a teacher who has told me she’s leaving teaching. It’s disappointing people who’ve dedicated their lives to teaching are now being attracted away from this career by more compelling conditions and pay.
“The younger generation in schools are witnessing all this happen. They’re realising if teachers aren’t treated and paid respectfully maybe they’ll have better opportunities elsewhere and they aren’t training to become to teachers.
“The workforce has lost all these different teachers. This leaves our children’s teachers to do the heavy lifting.”
Mr Genford said Education Minister Roger Jaensch’s focus should be on lifting learning conditions for students, not spreading misinformation about next week’s Stop Work action.
“The fact is, next week’s action will not disrupt the TASC-staffed Years 11 and 12 exams as staff teaching those years have been directed not to attend the action where it interferes directly with exams,” he said.
“The minister should retract his comments and apologise to students and parents for any confusion caused.”