Teaching not seen as attractive career path anymore - strike negotiator

The AM Show 04/07/2018

The head strike negotiator for principals says the profession has been insulted by the Government's pay offer, and that teaching isn't seen as attractive anymore. 

For the first time in 24 years, primary school teachers and principals will strike after rejecting the Government's latest pay offer. Teachers and principals plan to strike in August for three hours. 

"We need a significant pay jolt to attract and retain teachers and principals in the profession which is facing a crisis of people leaving and equally people not wanting to come into the profession," Louise Green told The AM Show on Wednesday. 

The pay rise offered ranges from a 6.1 percent increase for the top of the pay scale, which would have made the maximum teacher's salary about $80,600, to a 14.7 percent increase to the entry salary, bringing that to $55,030.

But teachers have asked for a 16 percent increase over two years, alongside extra learning support and more time for teaching. 

"There are 40 percent fewer people entering teacher training than there were about six years ago and that's not good. We need to have the profession revitalised with great young people choosing teaching as a career," said Ms Green. 

She said teaching isn't seen as an attractive career path anymore, and the profession is "reaching crisis point". Teaching is demanding, but teachers' hard work is not reflected in their pay, she added, which has made it an unattractive profession. 

"We're going back into negotiations and we hope the nation gets behind us and says really loudly and clearly that our teaching profession is important. We don't want to see children's education suffering."

Teachers are now discussing whether to extend their strike to a full day, as some members don't think striking from 1:30pm to 4:30pm would send a strong enough message.

Watch the full interview above.

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