As Green Left Weekly goes to print, public school teachers in South Australia are planning to strike on June 17. It will be the first all-day stopwork the SA Australian Education Union (AEU) has called in over ten years.
This comes despite the state government's latest offer in a last-minute attempt to stop the industrial action from taking place. The offer does not include a pay increase or any commitment to reduce class sizes. SA public school teachers are the lowest paid in the country. In a June 11 ballot, 85% of public schools voted to take part in the action.
The plan follows a breakdown in negotiations between the AEU and the state government, with the government failing to present a sufficient agreement over pay and conditions by the May 28 deadline, and after a 3000 strong rally on May 16.
Teachers plan to go ahead with the strike despite a June 13 decision by the Industrial Relations Commission to ban it. The government is determined to stop the action, stating its pay offer of 9.75% over three years is adequate. The union argues at least 21% is needed to bring SA teachers in line with their interstate colleagues.
State AEU president Correna Haythorpe says the strike has backing from parents and students, according to a May 31 AdelaideNow.com article.