Some Tasmanian pupils are regularly not receiving feedback from their teachers on their academic performance, as class sizes and extra administration duties add up for Tasmania’s teaching workforce.
That’s the reality for Glen Dhu Primary School teacher Alison Jales, who is speaking out over workload and conditions as industrial action between the education union and the state government continues to bite.
Mrs Jales said class sizes were as big as 32 pupils per one teacher which, along with planning and other administration work, makes getting around every student nearly impossible.
She said there was a lack of action and negotiation from the state government to address teacher workload.
However, the state government said its plan to employ an additional 250 teachers would help to address those key demands coming from the Australian Education Union Tasmania branch.
Recruitment is underway to employ the extra 250 teachers and 80 teacher assistants, with staff to be injected into key sites over the next six years.
Industrial action has scaled up for the education sector over the past fortnight, following stop work rallies held across the state.
The education union has directed its members to stop completing comments on reports, and inputting attendance data to the central Education Department program.
Mrs Jales said she has not received any negative feedback from parents on the action, and said not putting comments on reports has had minimal impact on her pupils.
“We have been encouraging parents to come in and talk to us about their child’s performance,” she said.
Mrs Jales said teachers did not want to cause disruption for their students and were conducting their action in a way that would not significantly impact them.
“We are very disappointed [with the government] and frustrated that we can’t do all we can for our children, because that is what our students are to us, they are our children,” she said.
She said work load had impacted on a number of her teacher colleagues, with some taking stress leave and others working before and after school and during their lunch break.
In addition, planning and marking is always done at home after school is finished.
She said the government should address the inconsistencies and ensure there is more time allocated during the day to complete these tasks.
The industrial action is being conducted across the public sector board, with nurses, midwives, cleaners and firefighters all involved in the EBA dispute.
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