Members of the Lake Wallis and Manning River teachers' associations yesterday afternoon, April 19 met with the Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead to seek support for public education and to get an update on the Gallop Inquiry into the teaching profession.
The year-long independent inquiry into Valuing the Teaching Profession was chaired by former WA premier Geoff Gallop.
The first of its kind to occur since 2004, the inquiry recommended major changes to the salaries and working conditions of teachers and principals to address rapidly escalating workloads, uncompetitive salaries and significant teacher shortages.
Association members are calling on Mr Bromhead to urgently act on the findings of the Gallop Inquiry.
President, Stuart Ireland said that action from their local member on the report findings was critical for teachers, principals and their students.
"Teachers and principals in the Myall Lakes electorate are no different to those right across the State," Mr Ireland said.
"We're struggling under crippling workloads without the time or resources available to do the work expected of us," he said.
"NSW is already experiencing teacher shortages, both full-time and casual teachers.
"Unless there is serious action on both salaries and workload this is only going to get worse.
We're struggling under crippling workloads without the time or resources available to do the work expected of us.Stuart Ireland
"Local teachers need greater time for lesson preparation, we need a drastic reduction in the tasks required of us that take away from the core business of teaching and learning.
"Principals across the State are working, on average 62 hours a week while teachers are working, on average 55 hours a week, attempting to meet all the complex needs of students while dealing with the compliance and administration burden that the NSW Department have saddled us with.
"The Gallop Inquiry has recommended an increase of between 10 and 15 per cent in the next wages agreement (covering 2022 and 2023) to recognise the increase in skills and responsibilities, help overcome current shortages and recruit the thousands of additional teachers needed to cope with the looming explosion in student enrolments.
"Politicians must listen to the teaching profession and the government must act on the recommendations of the inquiry."
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The report found that all aspects of teachers' work had "grown in volume and complexity" while wages had fallen behind comparable professions and systemic support had been taken away at a time workload had drastically increased.
Representatives will continue to seek action from the government in response to the Gallop Inquiry report.
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