Victorian public school teachers and support staff will stage rolling stoppages next term and refuse to work more than a 38-hour week in 2013 unless they reach a deal with the state government.
About 15,000 teachers rallied at Rod Laver Arena and marched to Parliament House yesterday as they rejected the Baillieu government’s pay and conditions offer, which includes performance pay.
Australian Education Union (AEU) president Mary Bluett says if there is no agreement by the end of the year the government would have had the union’s claim for two years.
“Teachers will implement from the start of next year a 38-hour week, no out-of-hours ... duties will be carried out,” she said.
“The mood today – very angry, very frustrated.”
About 5000 more people rallied yesterday than turned out for the stop-work day in June, Ms Bluett said.
“It sends a very, very strong message to the premier that he has got to negotiate,” she said.
“They (teachers and support staff) are absolutely determined that their profession is not going to be divided and our students aren’t going to be short-changed.”
Camps, excursions, musicals and sports before and after school would be affected if teachers worked a 38-hour week, she said.
The regional half-day stoppages will begin in the second week of term four but won’t continue through VCE exams. There will be a further one-day strike on February 14 next year unless an agreement is reached.
The AEU wants a 30 per cent pay increase over three years for teachers and more job security for teachers and support staff, many of whom are employed on a contract basis.
The government is standing by its offer of a 2.5 per cent pay rise, which it says will come with substantial bonuses for 70 per cent of teachers each year.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said he made the remark that the state’s teachers should be the nation’s best paid in 2008 before the last enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
He said he made it clear before the November 2010 election that the coalition would not pre-empt the EBA it would negotiate with teachers.
“There is nothing new in the industrial rhetoric nor the industrial action that’s been taken today,” Mr Baillieu said in Ballarat.