ALFREDTON Primary School’s decision to cancel a five-day camp to Canberra due to the ongoing teacher’s industrial action has angered some parents.
Several parents contacted The Courier and said they were very disappointed by the school’s actions.
The year 3 and 4 trip to Queenscliff has also been cancelled.
The parents, who did not want their names published because of fears of reprisals against their children, said the year 6 trip to Canberra was a highlight of the year.
“We received a letter from the education union but nothing from the school,” a parent said.
“We are very disappointed by the school’s action.
“It is a big part of the school year and the pupils look forward to it throughout their time at the school”
In a letter sent to the parents, Australian Education Union (AEU) said the trip contravened the union’s ban on teacher’s working beyond 38 hours.
“As you would be aware the Australian Education Union has been in negotiations with the Victorian government for over two years without resolution thus industrial bans were implemented,” the letter states.
“This year one of the bans involves teachers working more than 38 hours in any week.
“This ban includes any activity, including camps and excursions that would involve teachers working more than 38 hours in any week.”
The letter encouraged parents to direct all complaints to their nearest Coalition MP.
Another parent said she felt the children were being used as a pawn.
“If it was a trip to the beach or something I wouldn’t be disappointed,” she said.
“It is a trip to our capital to learn how our country and the democracy works.”
Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsey, who raised the matter in the Victorian Parliament, said he hoped the school council would hear the pleas of the parents.
“Industrial action should be conducted at arm’s length as teachers negotiate their award so it does not affect the children,” Mr Ramsey said.
Alfredton Primary School referred The Courier to the education union. The AEU refused to comment.