WA teachers reject concessions
By Anthony Benbow
PERTH — WA teachers have rejected a pay deal offered to them by the education Department on March 31. Teachers have been enforcing bans on unpaid out-of-hours work since the start of the year, in support of a 20% pay increase and increased funding for school facilities.
The department refused to negotiate unless bans were lifted. When teachers refused, they were told they would be offered a package at the end of March.
The package turned out to be three separate 5% increases, paid only in return for numerous concessions by teachers. The department demanded that teachers extend the working "school" day, undertake professional development in their own time, cover for teacher absences like sick leave within each school (no jobs for relief teachers) and other similar concessions.
The State School Teachers' Union (SSTU) considered the proposals, then passed them straight on to workplace meetings for the final decision. Teachers at these meetings overwhelming rejected the government's offer. Some teachers felt that industrial action should be stepped up.
SSTU representative Russell King said the union would be meeting to consider further action.