On April 17, 500 Darwin and Palmerston public school teachers stopped work in protest against the NT government's latest pay offer. During the April 11 protest rally, the NT branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) called for a further single day of protest action on April 30.
Darwin Middle School teacher Merryn Brown however proposed that there be a second strike during the first of the national benchmark literacy and numeracy tests on May 13 — a proposal that was supported by those at the protest rally.
In an interview with the April 18 Northern Territory News, Brown said: "The NT government depends on us to make sure that students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 do these tests — so we can make a very big impact and send a very big message."
After voting for the proposed April 30 and May 13 four-hour stop-work protests, the teachers marched to the NT parliament.
According to the NTN, NT public employment commissioner Ken Simpson made a pay offer to teachers of 11% over three years, and offered to backdate the rise to September. Simpson described his offer as "fair", but with an inflation rate of 3.5% per annum, Simpson's offer can hardly be called a pay rise.
Simpson has also made an exclusive $5000 bonus offer to teachers who agree to work 4-10 years in a remote school. However, AEU NT president Nadine Williams said: "Some teachers would never survive that long in a remote school."