Thursday, 30 October 2008

SA teachers to strike today

Half-day strike in SA schools over pay.

Some South Australian public schools will be closed this morning as teachers rally for a pay increase from the State Government.

Teachers unanimously knocked back the Government's pay offer of a 12.5 per cent rise over three years, and are still demanding 21 per cent.

More than 400 schools and preschools will close until a 12.15pm, while nearly 360 will operate as normal.

Anne Crawford from the Education Union says teachers are insulted by the Government's offer.

"The wage rise they have offered is fundamentally less than the cost of living, less than the CPI and the Government has completely forgotten about school leaders, preschool directors, TAFE employees and non-teaching staff," she said.

The Union's state president, Correna Haythorpe, says teachers voted unanimously to strike for a bigger rise.

"We know that over 80 per cent of our members have voted in favour for the stop-work action and parents are advised to make contact with their local schools," she said.

Jan Andrews from the Education Department says parents should already know if their children will be affected by today's strike.

She says year 12 students will not be disadvantaged.

"Schools are prioritising the needs of those students and I'm told that the AEU has had some regard to that as well," she said.

"But the programs in schools that have been affected have been tailored around the year 12s so that their work won't be interrupted even if those children are working at home."

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