Teachers demand pay rise, permanent jobs


On March 3, 400 teachers rallied as part of the Australian Education Union's campaign for improved wages and conditions. The AEU is calling for a 10% pay rise each year for three years to bring Victorian teachers' wages in line with those of New South Wales teachers.

The four-hour stop-work was part of a campaign of rolling stoppages across Victoria that began on February 26 and will continue throughout Victorian primary and secondary schools until April 23.

The rally was addressed by Geelong teacher Bronwyn Jennings, who highlighted the situation of teachers employed on contracts. "Not only do all teachers deserve a 10% pay rise per year to bring us in line with colleagues in other states, teachers must have decent working conditions", Jennings said.

"Many teachers on contracts don't know whether they have a job from one term, or one year, to the next. They have to waste their time constantly applying for jobs, including their own."

Currently 20% of all Victorian teachers are employed on short-term contracts, including 80% of first-year teachers. At the same time, the teacher shortage is intensifying as growing numbers of teachers retire and many new teachers are leaving the state system for non-government schools or jobs outside of teaching. The log of claims lodged by the AEU calls for teachers to primarily be employed in permanent jobs.