Teachers' wage war heats up
DOZENS of Ipswich teachers have protested against Anna Bligh's government outside Brassall State School, demanding a wage increase.
The primary school teachers chanted anti-Bligh slogans after the Queensland Government announced it would not adhere to teachers' requests for a pay rise.
A teacher at the protests, who did not want to be named, said she was disgusted at how she and her colleagues had been treated by the State Government.
The teacher said she struggled to pay her bills and manage her finances on her current wage, which is as much as $7000 per year below New South Wales teachers.
“I definitely struggle with finance on the pay I'm on,” the teacher said.
“It's very stressful being a teacher and a lot of us do a heap of outside-school work we never get paid for.
“Most teachers are involved with sporting teams on the weekends and then there's mediation meetings, school camps, lunchtime supervision - it's a lot of work.
Queensland Teachers Union West Moreton manager Barry Welch said teachers were also forced to work more than half of their lunchtimes.
Mr Welch labelled the Queensland Government's offer of a four per cent wage increase as “vindictive”.
“We want an 18 per cent pay rise over the next three years and that could be back-ended as well, so it's not necessarily six per cent each year,” Mr Welch said.
“We know the economy is not the best at the moment, but it will pick up in 2011 and 2012.”
Mr Welch said he hoped for a favourable decision in the battle for a wage hike, now the matter is to be settled by arbitration.
“The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission ruled we can not strike but when matters have gone before the commission previously there has been good outcomes for unions,” Mr Welch said.
Education Minister Geoff Wilson said the commission's decision to rule out a strike gave certainty to mums and dads.
“The end is now in sight for this wages dispute,” Mr Wilson said.