The Australian Education Union of Tasmania will be holding stop work action on the first day back of the new school year in response to lack of progress in negotiations with the state government.
AEU Tasmania state manager Roz Madsen said the union’s members were unhappy with the progress of negotiations.
“It’s unacceptable that teachers will start the school year with the same under-resourcing issues as last year,” Ms Madsen said.
“In light in the lack of progress of the negotiations, they have authorized stop work action on Monday February 4.
“We don’t want to return to the disruption of last year but the depth and breadth of educator concern about workload and pay is such that if the government fails to show respect and move on pay and in-class support industrial activities will escalate.”
Ms Madsen said AEU negotiators have been trying to progress new agreement negotiations all over the summer break.
“Whilst there was a lot of discussion around a number of matters, critically there’s been no actual shift in the government’s wages offer which is 2 per cent which would leave our most experienced classroom teachers the lowest paid in the country,” Ms Madsen said.
“Something needs to give over the next two weeks.”
Key concerns regarding the current government offer for teachers are lack of detail, no movement on a two per cent wage increase and no additional in-class support.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government’s position had been firm at a 2 per cent increase.
“The total offers have been around 2.5 per cent, when you take into account all of the terms and conditions and improvements that we have provided,” Mr Gutwein said.
“What I would encourage the unions to do is to drop industrial action.
“Ensure that the steps that they take don’t impact on patients or on school children, and negotiate with the government.
“What is important is any offer that is made is one we can afford.”
Ms Madsen said Mr Gutwein’s statement that the offer is actually 2.5 per cent is bizarre and unclear.
“That’s not what has been put forward in negotiations to date,” Ms Madsen said.
“If there is a shift in the government’s position we would welcome that.”