BALLARAT schools alerted parents of class cancellations yesterday as the Australian Education Union (AEU) confirmed hundreds of teachers and principals in the region would strike tomorrow.
AEU organiser for Central Highlands and Wimmera Region Erich Sinkis said there had been a high level of anger at the State government “in its refusal to come to the negotiating table both in terms of salary and working conditions”.
“We similarly are concerned about the lack of job security for our contract teachers or our ability to recruit graduate teachers,” he said.
“While some schools will be closed we would ask the community to support our campaign and assist us to put pressure on the Baillieu government.
“We regret any inconvenience to the community but we have been campaigning for many months to resolve the dispute.”
Mr Sinkis said the AEU had already been notified of strike numbers for about a dozen local schools, with more notifications coming in all the time.
“From those numbers you can see there’s going to be a significant impact,” he said.
Ballarat mum Tanya Parker said her two children Sarah and Tom would spend the day at home with their father because all their classes were cancelled.
“We both run our own businesses so my husband will be working from home Thursday,” Ms Parker said.
“It’s not necessarily easy having kids at home because he’s still got to work.”
Ms Parker said she supported the teachers in their push for better pay and conditions, but believed some families would struggle to juggle work commitments on the day.
“I support (the strike) absolutely 100 per cent,” she said.
“We’re very lucky we can manage. I’m sure there are many families that can’t.
“Two days’ notice isn’t going to be good for some people.”
Sharon Ham, who has three school-aged children, said the teachers should be supported.
“I have the day off on Thursday so it’s not going to interfere too badly with my working life,” she said.
“I think our teachers do a great job and need better conditions.
“It’s going to cause a bit of havoc within families I’m sure.”
Ballarat mum Kath Davis said if the teachers were successful at getting more pay, the strike was worth it.
“My sister’s a teacher and she does a lot of work,” she said.
Strike numbers in the Ballarat region
*As indicated by the Australian Education Union. For full details, contact schools directly.
Pleasant Street Primary School:
Daylesford Secondary College:
Delacombe Primary School:
Phoenix P12 Community College:
Ballarat North Primary School:
Clunes Primary School:
Black Hill Primary School:
Ballarat High School:
Ballarat Secondary College:
Alfredton Primary School:
Wendouree Primary School: