JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Call for strike breakers to keep schools open

Date

Henrietta Cook

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Schools to close for teachers' strike

More than 170 schools will close on Thursday as teachers walk off the job in a demand for better pay.

PT0M0S 620 349

THE Baillieu government will send strike breakers into schools on Thursday as 30,000 teachers, principals and support staff walk off the job for better pay and conditions.

The Education Department has asked former principals and casual relief teachers from agencies to supervise children who show up.

The department confirmed that agency staff would step in to ensure that principals fulfilled their duty of care.

Victorian teachers striking on the steps of Parliament last year.

Victorian teachers striking on the steps of Parliament last year. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

''The department is supporting school principals to fulfil their duty-of-care requirements of ensuring that all students who attend school tomorrow will be safe, cared for and properly supervised. This may include the hiring of agency staff.''

Every public school in the state will be affected by the 24-hour walkout and 172 schools will close, according to the union.

Australian Education Union Victoria president Meredith Peace said the department had pressured principals to turn up or provide the names of casual relief teachers or agencies.

She said the department had phoned retired principals and asked them to supervise students who turn up at school.

''I hope it is related to duty of care,'' Ms Peace said. ''I would like to see the government try to focus its effort on trying to resolve this dispute.''

One former principal, who did not want to be named, received a phone call from the Department of Education last Friday. The caller asked if he was interested in working at a school while teachers went on strike.

''The assumption that I was under was that they wanted me to look after a school on the strike day.''

Shadow minister for the teaching profession Steve Herbert said the government was intervening in a heavy-handed manner.

''These hardline tactics are really unnecessary. This is a new era of industrial relations in our schools, which can only be at the detriment of a harmonious school system. Many would see this as a basic strike-breaking tactic.''

Education Minister Martin Dixon said the strike was disruptive to parents and businesses and 300 schools would close. The union said 172. Mr Dixon said 65 per cent of teaching staff would take part in the strike.

''We have a system that is broken whereby the best teacher in the school is paid the same as the worst teacher,'' he said. ''That's what we need to change and those are the sort of issues we are talking with the union about.''

About 3500 staff from Catholic schools are also expected to strike, although Fair Work Australia has deemed their action unprotected and thus unlawful.

The Victorian Education Department took out advertisements last Saturday telling parents that schools had a duty of care to look after their children during Thursday's strike.

It is the third time Victorian teachers have gone on strike in less than a year.

Striking teachers will meet at Hisense Arena at 10.30am before marching to Parliament.

Teachers have put forward a revised request for a 12.6 per cent pay rise over three years. The union first sought a 30 per cent rise over three years following the Coalition's pre-election promise to make Victorian teachers the best paid in Australia.

The Baillieu government has offered a 2.5 per cent pay rise a year with performance bonuses.

Last week, the Federal Court rejected the state government's legal bid to stop teachers from taking industrial action.

List of schools closing Thursday (as released by the AEU):

Airly PS

Albanvale PS

Albert Park PS

Albion North PS

Albion PS

Aldercourt PS

Allansford & District PS

Altona Meadows PS

Amphitheatre PS

Arthurs Creek PS

Ashby PS

Athol Road PS

Avondale PS

Ballan PS

Baxter PS

Bayswater PS

Beechworth PS

Bell PS

Bethal PS

Bethanga PS

Beverford District PS

Big Hill PS

Boisdale Consolidated

Bolinda PS

Bonbeach PS

Boolarra PS

Box Hill North PS

Briar Hill PS

Broadford PS

Broadmeadows Valley PS

Brunswick North PS

Brunswick North West PS

Brunswick South West PS

Bungaree PS

Burwood East PS

Carlton Gardens PS

Carlton North PS

Chiltern PS

Christmas Hills PS

Clifton Hill PS

Clunes PS

Cohuna Consolidated School

Cohuna SC

Colac PS

Colac Specialist School

Colbinabbin PS

Cudgee PS

Darraweit Guim PS

Darraweit PS

Daylesford SC

Deans Marsh PS

Dinjerra PS

Donald PS

East Doncaster SC

Eastwood PS and Deaf Facility

Epping PS

Ferny Creek PS

Fish Creek PS

Footscray City College

Footscray PS

Foster PS

Girgarre PS

Gladstone Park SC

Glen Huntly PS

Glen Park PS

Glengarry PS

Gordon PS

Greenhills PS

Greenvale PS

Greenvale PS

Grovedale College

Guthridge PS

Hastings Westpark PS

Hawthorn SC

Hazelwood North PS

Ivanhoe East PS

Kaniva College

Katunga PS

Kew High School

Kororoit Creek PS

Kurnai College Morwell Campus

Labertouche PS

Lalor PS

Landsborough PS

Leaps and Bounds SDC

Leongatha SC

Lilydale Heights SC

Lorne Aireys Inlet P-12 College

Mallacoota P12 College

Manchester PS

Mansfield SC

Marong PS

Meredith PS

Merriang SDS

Mirboo North PS

Moe (Elizabeth Street) PS

Montmorency SC

Mooroopna Park PS

Mordialloc Beach PS

Moreland PS

Mount Beauty PS

Mount Evelyn PS

Mount Pleasant Road Nunawading PS

Nagambie PS

Nambrok Denison PS

Nathalia PS

Neerim District SC

Newlands PS

Northcote High School

Northern School for Autism

Osbornes Flat PS

Parkdale SC

Pascoe Vale North PS

Pascoe Vale PS

Poowong Consolidated

Portland North PS

Pyalong PS

Rawson PS

Reservoir District SC

Richmond PS

Richmond West PS

Rosebud PS

Rushworth P-12 College

Ruskin Park PS

Rutherglen PS

San Remo PS

Seymour College

Sherbrooke Community School

Solway PS

South Geelong PS

South Gippsland SC

Southmoor PS

Spotswood PS

St Andrews PS

St Kilda Park PS

Strathewen PS

Sunshine Harvester PS

Sunshine Heights PS

Swan Hill Specialist School

Sydney Road Community School

Tallangatta Valley PS

The Lakes South Morang P-9

The Patch PS

Tongala PS

Tooborac PS

Toolern Vale and District PS

Toora PS

Tooradin PS

Traralgon PS - Kosciuszko Street

Traralgon South PS

Tucker Rd PS

Tylden PS

Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School

Viewbank College

Wantirna PS

Warrandyte HS

Warrnambool East PS

Warrnambool PS

Westall SC

Whitfield District PS

William Ruthven SC

Williamstown PS

Yackandandah PS

Yallourn North PS

Yarra Glen PS

Yarra PS

Yarragon PS

Yea PS

70 comments

  • The way the Baillieu government is handling this makes me sick. 12% is hardly asking for much for one of the most important and undervalued jobs. Nobody supports you on this Baillieu, get a clue and get with the times

    Commenter
    cygirl
    Date and time
    February 14, 2013, 6:41AM
    • Teachers are showing their true colours today. They are more than happy to abandon their students and inconvenience tens of thousands of working parents because the almighty dollar is more important to them.

      Why don't they protest on a day during their 10 weeks of annual leave?

      Commenter
      Dave
      Location
      St Kilda
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 8:51AM
    • So, teachers have a good paying, safe job, with steady hours, 11-12 weeks annual leave, in a climate of economic insecurity, and they are demanding a pay rise from a government which hasn't enough money to keep hospital beds open. Good one. Teachers, please have some respect for the greater community, especially those parents who have had to take a day off to look after their kids, and get back to work, as you are paid to do.

      Commenter
      df_
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 9:00AM
    • Baillieu is just a liar. He made promises he had no intention of keeping. As usual the Libs tactic of hiding behind the books is winning sucker friends. As we all know the middle ground is about 4% per year for 3 years, not too much to ask for underpaid teachers.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Location
      Warrandyte
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 9:18AM
    • df_- teachers can't put up their pay when the economy is thriving. They have to ask, or be promised it, and we now all know the value of a promise from the Libs in this area.

      Worthless.

      Commenter
      HiLo
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 9:19AM
    • A) Where is the extra money suppose to come from? The demand is well over inflation.

      B) If you don't like the pay, no one forced you to become a teacher.

      Commenter
      JimP
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 9:43AM
    • most of them have 'secure' jobs backed by a 9 month contract that expires at the end of the school year, , and if they are lucky , get a new one at the start of the next year. They can't strike in their 'holiday' period, as they are unemploted at that time

      Commenter
      m
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 9:50AM
    • Dave and df,

      Teachers are paid much less than they used to be and have worse working conditions than 30 years ago. (Partly this is because they are industrially weak and keep agreeing to weak deals, despite all the nonsense you read about “militant” teachers unions.) A society that values its children would want the best people teaching and would be willing to pay the salaries it once did and provide the working conditions it once did to ensure that those people became teachers and stayed teachers.

      If we could afford to staff secondary schools with a PTR of 10.9:1 in 1981, why can’t we now? If we could afford to pay teachers at the top of the scale 166.2 per cent of male average ordinary time earnings in 1975, why can’t we now?

      Commenter
      Chris Curtis
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 10:06AM
    • 12% is way too much. A more reasonable amount might get them somewhere. There are lots of workers without jobs let alone demanding a pay rise.

      Commenter
      GlennE
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 10:10AM
    • Take your %2.5 a year and get back to work! It's more than inflation, I'd love a %2.5 a year pay rise. %12 is too much.

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 10:19AM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo