Teachers warn of strike action
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Queensland teachers are considering industrial action, including strikes and work bans, over a stalled agreement on wages and conditions. The state Labor government has refused to increase its offer of a 3% pay rise each year for three years. The Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) is seeking yearly increases of 8% over three years.
School administrative staff may also take action over the government's refusal to convert 8000 casual administration staff to full-time or permanent part-time positions and to upgrade other permanent positions in smaller schools.
QTU president Julie-Ann McCullough said teachers were angry that they still did not have a deal two weeks before their current enterprise agreement expires, despite announcing their claim in June last year.
She said the government had refused to move on its 3% offer, despite claims in 1997 by then opposition leader Peter Beattie that the Coalition government's 4% offer was inadequate and that teachers would receive better treatment under Labor.
Queensland Public Sector Union secretary Gordon Rennie said that rolling stop-work meetings, a march on state parliament, sit-ins at local MPs' offices and school closures were likely because the government had failed to keep promises on upgrading administrative staff positions.