About 100 teachers and school staff from across the Fleurieu took to the streets of Victor Harbor to share their anger and frustration towards the state government regarding negotiation breakdowns over the enterprise bargaining agreement.
Staff from Victor R-7 School, Victor Harbor High School, Port Elliot Primary School, Goolwa Primary School, Mount Compass Area School, Willunga High School, Strathalbyn Primary School, and the Instrumental Music school donned red clothing to take part in the march..
They walked from the Whale’s Tail at Warland Reserve, up Ocean Street, through Grosvenor Gardens and Victor Central Shopping Centre, back to Grosvenor Gardens and back to the Whale’s Tail.
Led by Victor Harbor High School’s Lauren Height and Port Elliot Primary School’s Vicki Lacey, the group of teachers of all ages chanted “1, 2, 3, 4, funding is what we’re fighting for! 5, 6, 7, 8, start to negotiate!”.
Ms Height and Ms Lacey said the theme was ‘respect’, as they wanted the government to respect the work teachers and SSOs do.
“It’s not about our wages, it’s about funding IT and special needs and behaviour staff,” Ms Height said.
“I’m amazed by the turn-out, especially considering everyone is losing their wage for half a day,” Ms Lacey said.
The list of what the teachers and their union have asked for and have been rejected include:
- Enhanced country incentives to attract and retain teachers and leaders in country locations
- Better classroom arrangements to meet needs of country students
- Enabling leaders to be educational leaders and not have to focus on administration tasks, eg. data collection
- Increased special class places in mainstream schools for students currently enrolled in mainstream classes
- Face-to-face teaching time for preschool teachers in stand-alone centres to be equalised with teachers in schools, including school-based preschools (24 hours v 22 hours 30 mins, full-time)
- Time for teachers and leaders to develop collegial engagement strategies, eg. mutually agreed observations and feedback