Education union officials will meet on Friday to discuss the government’s latest wage negotiation offer.
An offer was put forward by Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff on Friday as the public servant wage dispute enters its third month of increased industrial action.
The new offer from the government includes reducing contact hours for primary school teachers (from 22 to 20 hours a week), increasing parental leave to 16 weeks (from 14 weeks), the simplification of reporting requirements for written reports and a new package to support principals.
Negotiations between the union and the government broke down earlier in the year, when the state government’s enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) which ended on June 30.
Since then, there have been stop work rallies and meetings, which have resulted in school closures twice.
Despite the two offers proposed, the industrial action has failed to reach a resolution, with union officials describing the first offer as “a simplistic answer to a complex issue”.
The first offer was proposed in November and pledged an extra 95 specialist teachers on top of its two per cent pay rise over three years.
With schools heading to the summer break, the union’s executive team, made up of principals and support staff, will also discuss the potential for more stop-work bans in 2019.
An AEU spokeswoman said further work bans were being considered but it depended on “the government’s handling of negotiations and willingness to provide solutions to key asks on salary and workload.”
The union is surveying its members about potential industrial action for 2019 but will not release any details.
Mr Rockliff said the government’s offer addresses the concerns raised by the union and delivers “significant and meaningful improvements to Tasmanian teachers’ conditions.”
However, the government has not changed its wage offer, with two per cent over three years unchanged.
The AEU spokeswoman said the revised offer “lacked significant detail.”
Mr Rockliff called on the union to cease its industrial action and consult with its members.
“The AEU must continue these negotiations and to keep its members fully informed of the details of this new offer which is both fair and affordable and significantly addresses workload and class size issues which the union says is its major concern,” he said.
While you’re with us, did you know you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox? Sign up here.