TEACHERS across Ballarat will strike in force tomorrow, disrupting schools across the region in a third round of stop-work action against the Baillieu government.
Canadian Lead Primary School principal Scott Phillips, who will join the statewide movement, said this was about more than calling for a wage rise – complicated negotiations had dragged on too long.
Mr Phillips said all schools had seriously had to examine their timetables and cut back on programs that were no longer properly funded by the state government.
Ballarat schools have cancelled school camps, cut back report comments and, in some cases, cancelled school fetes to ensure teachers’ work was fully recognised.
Australian Education Union Ballarat spokesman Erich Sinkis said tomorrow’s strike action was strong, if not stronger than stop-works last September.
This is the third full-day stop-work called in the AEU’s industrial dispute in two years of negotiations for better pay and working conditions.
Woady Yaloak Primary School yesterday confirmed staff were taking the strike seriously with 10 classes plus specialist programs cancelled across its four campuses, compared to one teacher stopping work in September.
Mr Sinkis said the state government had settled disputes with police and nurses but it was important to settle with teachers in order to invest in the best teachers and support staff, particularly young teachers, who were enticed to move interstate for better working conditions.
Independent Education Union Victoria and Tasmania has encouraged staff in Catholic schools to join the stop-work.
Staff wages in Catholic schools are directly linked to the government sector and IEU general secretary Debra James said no deal in the Catholic system could be made until an agreement was reached between the AEU and Baillieu goverment.
A state government spokesperson said the government continued to reiterate that the action was unfair and inconvenient to both parents and children and that industrial action did nothing to assist negotiations.
SCHOOLS AFFECTED TOMORROW
Alfredton: open with modified programs, 19 teachers striking.
Ballarat North: eight of 17 classes running.
Black Hill: undecided.
Buninyong (including Scotsburn campus): 22 teachers striking.
Caledonian: classes as normal, one teacher striking.
Canadian Lead: about five of 10 teachers plus the principal striking.
Clunes: no comment.
Creswick North: classes as normal.
Creswick: two of eight classes running.
Dana Street: classes as normal.
Delacombe: four of 14 classes running.
Emmaus: classes as normal.
Forest Street: no comment.
Glen Park: no comment.
Lal Lal: two teachers striking, only senior class affected.
Little Bendigo: undecided.
Macarthur Street: some classes will be affected.
Magpie: no classes, all teachers striking.
Miners Rest: no classes, 13 teachers and support staff striking.
Mt Blowhard: classes as normal.
Mt Clear: no comment.
Mt Pleasant: classes as normal.
Our Lady Help of Christians: no classes, 218 students to miss school.
Pleasant Street: Five classes out, nine running as usual.
St Alipius: no comment
St Aloysius: one class affected.
St Augustine’s: classes as normal.
St Brendan’s, Dunnstown: no classes.
St Brigid’s: classes as normal.
St Mary’s, Clarkes Hill: no classes.
St Michael’s, Springbank: classes as normal.
St Patrick’s Primary, Ballarat: no classes, 230 students to miss school.
St Patrick’s Primary, Gordon: classes as normal.
St Thomas More: Two teachers will strike with 48 students from two classrooms set to miss the day of school.
Urquhart Park: seven classes out.
Warrenheip: classes as normal, except prep/1.
Wendouree: no comment.
Woady Yaloak: about 10 classes and specialist programs affected across four campuses.
Yuille Park Community College: classes as normal.
Ballarat High School: majority of staff to strike. Only year 12 classes to be held.
Loreto College: a range of teachers set to strike, with only year 7 and 8 classes running.
St Patrick’s College: classes as normal.
Ballarat Christian College: no action.
Ballarat Clarendon College: no action.
Ballarat Grammar: no action.
*The Courier was unable to confirm action at other schools in the region.