Parents have been left scrambling to find alternative arrangements for child care, in light of escalating industrial action.
About 152 public schools across Tasmania will close until 10.30am on November 27-8 to accommodate stop work meetings hosted by the Australian Education Union Tasmania branch. Invermay mother Sarah Blockley said she was lucky to be able to get a grandparent to help look after her daughter, who attends Invermay Primary School.
“If we didn’t have that support we would definitely needed to take the morning or the day off work,” she said.
She said she knew of other parents who weren’t as fortunate as she was. The AEU is continuing to ramp up industrial action as it fights for an increase in wages and measures to address workload and class sizes as it negotiates with the Tasmanian Government.
The government’s latest proposal, which added an extra 95 specialist teachers to its existing commitment to recruit an extra 250 teachers over the next six years, as well as a 2 per cent pay rise over the next three years was rejected by the union.
The action is part of a larger industrial dispute that is affecting all of Tasmania’s public servants.
Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations president Nigel Jones said parents had contacted the organisation to vent their frustration.
“People want to know if this is going to keep happening, because parents are already juggling commitments,” he said.
“Not everyone has grandparents they can easily access to find alternative care.”
Mr Jones said TASSO was disappointed in the union for its ongoing dispute, saying it was clear the issue was still about pay and not conditions.
However, he said both sides of the dispute were to blame.
“The reality is 3 per cent is not going to create better outcomes, we need the TAs [teacher assistants] and specialist teachers, which was on the table,” he said.
Schools across the North will close until 10.30am on November 27.