Queensland teachers rally for equal pay

Issue 

BRISBANE — Seven hundred teachers staged an after-school rally outside state parliament on August 5. The rally was organised after the Industrial Relations Commission ruled against a planned statewide strike.

The Bligh state government has refused to raise their pay rise offer of 12.5% over three years, which would keep Queensland teachers the lowest paid in Australia. The Queensland Teachers Union is seeking 18% over three years to bring the teachers' pay into line with other states.

Union president Steve Ryan condemned the state Labor government. "We haven't seen this sort of thing since the Bjelke-Petersen government", he said. However, he said the union would abide by the commission's ruling.

At the rally, the Queensland Independent Education Union, which represents teachers in non-government schools, pledged its support for the campaign, because the public sector set the benchmark for teachers' pay across Queensland.