The state’s education union will on Thursday meet with the government for the first time in a month over wage negotiations in the wake of a school closure threat less than two weeks from now.
At present, parents of public school children will have a week to make preparations for a late start to the school day next week as a result of a teacher strike over pay and conditions.
The Australian Education Union state branch on Tuesday announced it would hold morning stop-work meetings in the North and North-West on November 27 and in the South a day later which would mean school would need to start at 10.30am.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said government would provide information for parents on school closures early next week if the union did not back down from its planned action.
"The government has been negotiating in good faith and we are not far from reaching an agreement," he said.
"I urge the unions to stop the stunts, stop the threats, cancel the school disruptions."
Teachers have argued for a three-per-cent pay rise in the first year but Mr Rockliff said the government would not budge on its two-per-cent cap.
AEU state manger Roz Madsen said she was puzzled by comments made by Mr Rockliff that an agreement was close to being made.
“The only formal offer from the government for school teachers would increase workload and administrative tasks and relegate our most experienced teachers to lowest paid in Australia,” she said.
“The government is not negotiating in good faith if it comes to the table with a pre-determined outcome on salary.”
Ms Madsen said teachers on the union’s negotiating team would be excused from classes to attend Thursday’s meeting.
“We hope that the government this time comes prepared with a serious offer,” she said.
In addition to a two-per-cent pay rise offer, the government has proposed reduced pay loading for relief teachers and a requirement for first-year teachers to start the school year a week earlier than everyone else.
A government spokesman refused to provide comment on whether the government would consider to make days on which stop-work action occurred in the state student-free days in order to minimise disruption for students.
Mr Rockliff in 2014 declared a student-free day to coincide with a two-hour stop-work meeting over a pay dispute.
He did so after knowing for two weeks the action was coming but declared schools would be closed for the day only three days before the event. The second stop-work meeting is on top of other work bans implemented by union members which includes a decision not to enter attendance data into the system and not to provide additional comments on student performance on final report cards.
An Education Department spokesman said the lack of comments could potentially create a level of inconsistency in reporting this year.
He said reliable access to contemporary attendance data was an important component for the department to ensure care and wellbeing requirements were met and appropriate strategies had been put in place.