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I have praised Maralyn Parker before…

20 Nov

She is one of the most down-to-earth, sensible commentators on education in the media today – here in Sydney at least. Perhaps her having been a teacher helps, though that isn’t always the case.

Yesterday, for example, she took on the NSW teachers’ salary claim and the two hour stop work meetings in pursuit of that yesterday morning.

NSW cannot afford to cut teacher salaries. The offer soundly rejected by 99% of NSW public school teachers yesterday was an attempt to do exactly that.

The NSW government has made some very stupid decisions over the past decade and the people of this state will pay for them dearly in the coming years but here is a rapidly approaching future catastrophe that can be avoided.

The offer of 11.4% over the next three years will not lift teachers salaries enough to even cover inflation…

She went on to question whether the government’s “list of 25,000 teachers waiting for jobs in NSW schools” is a myth. No, there is such a list and I believe I am still on it. That may indeed lead you to question! I know I am on it because from time to time I get letters telling me how far I have moved up it. I am on it because I did some marking for SBHS last year and, though retired, had to “rejoin” to get casual pay. Thus I appear on the list. But I am not waiting for a job in a NSW school, obviously…

Finally, she offers I think sage advice to the Teachers Federation about the danger of losing parental support if the action they take inconveniences parents – especially in the current climate where it is only too easy to paint teachers as lazy, greedy, or reckless in these straitened economic times.

Good article, as is often the case. I wonder sometimes what she is doing in the Terror – but I am glad she is there.

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Posted by on November 20, 2008 in Australia, education, teaching

 

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