NSW teachers set to strike to fight for pay rise

Thousands of New South Wales teachers walked off the job today in a bid to get better pay and working conditions.

The 24-hour teachers’ strike saw swarms of people marching through Sydney’s CBD this morning, from Hyde Park to Houses of Parliament in Macquarie Street to protest against an annual pay rise of more than 2.5%.

The rally demanded a pay raise of between 5 and 7.5 percent as well as extra planning time for classes.

Members of the Teachers’ Federation rejected an eleventh-hour government offer hinting at a pay rise and instead decided to continue the strike.

NSW teachers marched through Sydney’s CBD to Hyde Park and Parliament. (9News)
Teachers in New South Wales are due to leave work today for the second time in six months.
Teachers in New South Wales are due to leave work today for the second time in six months. (Today/File)

President Angelo Gavrielatos said the situation had become “unsustainable”.

“More than 70% of teachers say they are considering options other than teaching,” Gavrielatos said.

The state education department listed 209 schools as “not functioning” and parents were told to keep children home due to the strike.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said Today the teachers’ decision to go ahead with the strike was disappointing and she shared parents’ concerns about what it would do to students and families.

“It’s really frustrating. The last thing I want to see is disrupting students and families,” Ms Mitchell told Today.

President Angelo Gavrielatos said the situation had become "unsustainable".
President Angelo Gavrielatos said the situation had become “unsustainable”. (9News)

Ms Mitchell said the state government was continuing negotiations with the NSW Teachers Federation and had been doing so for months, but the industrial action would not achieve the desired result.

Members of the Teachers' Federation rejected an eleventh-hour offer from the government.
Members of the Teachers’ Federation rejected an eleventh-hour offer from the government. (9News)
The union is fighting for an annual wage increase of more than 2.5 percent as inflation rises across the country.
The union is fighting for an annual wage increase of more than 2.5 percent as inflation rises across the country. (Today/File)

Unions of several essential workers, including paramedics, nurses and teachers, have staged ongoing strikes this year in a campaign against the state’s public sector wage cap, which limits annual wage increases to $2. .5%.

While under pressure over the cap, Mr Perrottet repeatedly said he was trying to “balance” the budget.

The Labor Party yesterday criticized what it calls the Prime Minister’s ‘hypocrisy’ Dominique Perrotettop government advisers becoming eligible for a major raise.
Ms Mitchell said the state government was continuing to negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation and had been doing so for a month.
Ms Mitchell said the state government was continuing to negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation and had been doing so for a month. (9News)
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An Industrial Relations Board hearing that would have blocked a 2.04% pay rise for teachers this year has been pushed back after the budget, to give the prime minister a chance to review his pay policy.

“I cannot guarantee you that the decision we will arrive at will satisfy the concerns and problems of the Teachers’ Federation,” Mr Perrottet said.

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