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Liberals’ contempt for teachers forces school closures

The Liberal government’s decision to close Tasmania’s public schools for two hours next Wednesday rather than negotiate for decent wages and conditions for teachers and support staff shows the depths of its contempt for the state’s school staff.

The government’s spurious claim that there is no option but for all public schools to close temporarily until after 10.30 am on Wednesday 28 September ignores the fact that it is refusing to take steps to improve conditions in schools.

Teachers and school support staff have done the heavy lifting throughout Covid and have been waiting more than a year for the government to address increased workloads, staff shortages and competitive pay that keeps up with the cost of living and reflects the profession’s value to the community. 

It is little wonder that they are fed up with being dismissed and ignored while the government puts all its efforts and a significant amount of public money into an unnecessary new stadium.

Stop work action is a last resort for teachers and support staff who are at their wits’ end trying to improve education outcomes for Tasmanian students.

Tasmanian educators deserve better than being taken for granted and then blamed by a government that refuses to negotiate in good faith.

It is time the Liberal government got its priorities right and started delivering for Tasmanians, including supporting our hard working school staff, instead of making constant excuses

Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years