PREMIER Denis Napthine yesterday took the performance pay issue off the negotiating table in a bid to resolve the long-running teacher’s strike.
The move was welcomed by the Australian Education Union (AEU) but said more needed to be done to resolve the fight.
Meanwhile, Ballarat continues to feel the effect of the dispute with the popular Sovereign Hill Narmbool camps looking to be cancelled this year.
As part of the industrial action, teachers are banned from working for more than 38 hours.
Sovereign Hill chief executive Jeremy Johnson said the industrial action may see the eight school camps in May and June cancelled.
“Our concern is that some of our longstanding supporting Melbourne schools have been unable to take up their bookings,” Mr Johnson said.
“We are working with them to try and avert them from cancelling but at this stage it is not looking promising.
“At this stage the indication is they will be cancelled.”
He said Sovereign Hill’s overnight activities like Blood on the Southern Cross had also taken a beating.
“What we are finding is that the day school activities are happening reasonably as usual but the bookings are constrained,” Mr Johnson said.
“(But) the night time activity such as Blood on the Southern Cross aren’t being taken up ... probably a third of it (is down).”
Mr Johnson said the cancellations were having a considerable effect on the not-for-profit organisation.
AEU Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said it was the government which had allowed the dispute to carry on for over two years.
“Today is the first real positive step that we have seen in all that time,” Ms Peace said.
“We don’t want to inconvenience or cause disruptions but we have been left with no choice.”
Dr Napthine told the Victorian Parliament yesterday afternoon that in the interests of resolving the teachers dispute, the government would take performance pay off the negotiating table.
“We now look to the Australian Education Union to embrace that same approach in order to reach a productive and responsible outcome that is good for students, teachers, parents and Victorian taxpayers,” Dr Napthine said.