Premier Will Hodgman delivered teachers a lesson in contempt and disrespect when his government announced schools closures half an hour before a meeting scheduled that could have averted action, the AEU said today.

The Hodgman Government then compounded the disrespect by failing to deliver on a promise to table a formal offer in the meeting, choosing instead to issue a letter with veiled threats and an insulting salary improvement of just 0.25% over the life of the proposed agreement.

“The Premier has displayed utter contempt toward teachers by jumping to close schools then foreshadowing just a 0.25% increase in their pay offer, with no more in-class support for students who need it,” Helen Richardson, AEU Tasmania President.

“This all shows that Will Hodgman was never serious about negotiations and is hell bent on closing schools and putting political game playing ahead of the best interests of students and teachers.

“Will Hodgman has chosen disruption and school closures over working with teachers on workload solutions and quality education.

“To compound the utter contempt Hodgman has shown educators, his government has now also called into question their commitment to students – comments which have outraged teachers who put their heart and soul into teaching our kids.

“The Hodgman letter released today states that no further negotiations will be offered by his Government – this behaviour contrasts with that of teachers who at every turn have been offering solutions and trying to prevent the Government from dragging this out.

The letter released today by the State Government to unions contained veiled threats of job cuts; threats to take away options of backpay in any future agreements and foreshadowed a pay offer of 2% (first year), 2.5% (second year), 2.5% (third year) – just a 0.25% improvement from the last offer.

At the time of writing, the AEU was yet to receive a formal revised teacher bargaining offer from the Government.

 

Further information:
Harriet Binet, AEU Tasmania, 0427 841 760