Teachers to strike in defiance of IRC order
TEACHERS will defy an order from the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) and strike on Wednesday.
The NSW Teachers Federation says the strike will go ahead because the State Government has not changed its position on giving principals more power.
A spokeswoman for the union says the federation does not know if defying the order will incur a penalty, Sydney media report.
The federation says it is working hard this afternoon (Monday) to let members know the strike is still on.
Justice Michael Walton today in the IRC ordered teachers not to strike, saying it wasn’t in the public interest.
The union was also told to display the order in a prominent place on its website no later than 3pm today.
A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it was hoping the union would abide by the order.
“(The strike) would only serve to disrupt students’ education,” the spokesman says.
The NSW Teachers Federation’s 300-member executive voted on Friday afternoon to embark on an all-day strike on Wednesday.
Teachers are upset at the government’s Local Schools Local Decisions policy, which proposes to give principals the power to control 70 per cent of a school’s budget and hire up to half of its staff.
The federation’s deputy president Gary Zadkovich says teachers feel they have no option but to go on strike because the government’s policies are damaging to students.
“Local Schools Local Decision is a policy developed by treasury and the State Government to cut funding for our students in public schools,” Mr Zadkovich has told Sydney journalists.
“This is all about changing the way staffing is done in schools, changing the way the allocate resources so that when the budget is cut . . . when the teaching positions (are) reduced local principals, local schools will be blamed.”
Mr Zadkovich says Premier Barry O’Farrell should sign up to a charter put to him by the federation promising not to increase class sizes and not to reduce teaching positions.
“Make those guarantees and we’ll call the strike off,” Mr Zadkovich says.