Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly to continue their campaign for respect for educators and a better deal for students, the AEU said today.

Premier Will Hodgman has failed to adequately address key concerns of educators like more in-class support for students and a respectful pay offer that would guarantee Tasmanian teachers will not be lowest paid in the country, during the life of the new proposed agreement.

“The Premier needs to explain to parents why he has not adequately listened to concerns of the dedicated professionals who educate our kids and who want nothing more than respect and the support needed to give every child the quality education they deserve,” said Roz Madsen, AEU Tasmania State Manager.

“Will Hodgman is holding on to a political position that could leave Tasmanian teachers the lowest paid in Australia and has still failed to provide immediate fixes to teacher workloads that are reducing individual support and tailored learning for students,” said Ms Madsen.

“One hundred per cent of the 150 schools and colleges that held meetings last week around the state voted to reject the government’s offer. This was backed up by a survey of more than 4000 members where 83% of teachers said the offer from the government was ‘below expectation’,” she said.

“The Government’s revised offer to teachers did not move off 2% in the first year and included a grab-bag of new demands that stripped existing conditions.”

“The government’s offer was a case of one step forward and two steps back and that was unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of teachers.”

REJECTION AND COUNTER OFFER

On Friday [15 March], the AEU wrote to the Premier advising him that members had rejected his revised bargaining offer, dated 1 March 2019.

Teachers, through their elected Executive and Council, have today [Mon, 18 March] sent a counter offer to the State Government giving them one week to deliver the changes teachers and students need.

Key components of the AEU’s counter offer are measures to address lack of in-class support such as caps on class sizes and a reasonable pay rise of 3% that ensures Tasmanian teachers will not be the lowest paid.

“A failure to adequately respond will leave the Premier having to explain to parents why schools will again have to be closed by the Government,” said Ms Madsen.

“Teachers, principals and school psychologists have made it clear to the Government that any wage offer must show respect and attract the best and brightest to the profession by guaranteeing Tasmanian teachers will not be the lowest paid in the country.”

“Teachers are not willing to lock-in conditions for three years which mean kids miss out on the quality education they deserve and educators feel so disrespected they are concerned for the future of public education in this state.”