Queensland teachers to strike

May 17, 2009

On May 19, more than 37,000 state school teachers will stage a one-day strike against the Queensland government's pay offer. The offer would keep Queensland's teachers among the lowest paid in Australia.

The offer is for 4.5%, 4% and 4% over the three-year agreement, and comes 6 months after negotiations started and well after the expiry date of the old agreement.

Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) president Steve Ryan said on May 11 the offer was "completely inadequate".

"Teachers take industrial action as a last resort, but strike action has been made necessary by the frustration engendered by the state Labor government's continued refusal to offer fair wage increases", Ryan said.

The government's use of the economic situation as an excuse not to award decent salaries was disingenuous, as the state Labor government did not award decent increases in the economic "good" times, said Ryan.

In statewide QTU membership ballots, more than 91% voted in favour of strike action.

QTU has asked for understanding from parents, as government neglect is leading Queensland teachers to leave the state for better paid jobs elsewhere.

The state government has a long history of confrontation with its own workforce: the ALP's own policy of industrial democracy and fair dealing is repeatedly ignored.

Disputes have erupted with many of the state's workers recently and train drivers and paramedics are two other groups in conflict with the government.

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