More strike action

GIPPSLAND teachers will undertake further strike action this week in the hope of getting the State Government to negotiate a pay increase.

Australian Education Union Gippsland organiser Jeff Gray confirmed negotiations were “currently off” with the State Government and “no counter offer (had been) received yet”.

The government’s proposal of a 2.5 per cent pay increase was rejected by the AEU, which organised a state-wide campaign earlier this month, that had more than 200 Gippsland teachers undertake stop work action.

According to Mr Gray “limited bans on the implementation of department policies and invitations” would come into effect on Wednesday.

“We’re also discussing further industrial action for next term if the government doesn’t continue negotiations,” Mr Gray said.

Among these actions will be a ban on the implementation of the national curriculum.

Mr Gray added the government’s proposal of performance pay was widely objected to, as the initiative “has not worked anywhere in the world”.

“It flies in the face of teachers who work congenially with each other,” he said.

“Even if we accepted performance pay, which we are opposed to… only 10 per cent of teachers will get a 10 per cent extra pay rise, but for most teachers it would only be a small increase.”

The state-wide stop work action was criticised by the State Government with Teaching Profession Minister Peter Hall describing the campaign as “disappointing”.

“(The stop work action) disrupted school activities and forced about 200 schools to close… the government is quite disappointed,” Mr Hall said.

“We believe the government’s offer of a 2.5 per cent increase and performance pay offers is a generous one.

“About 70 per cent of Victorian teachers could benefit from the government’s proposal of performance payment.”