Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wage dispute: NSW teachers continue fight

Thousands of state school and TAFE teachers across New South Wales have walked off the job for two hours to protest against the State Government's latest pay offer.

The teachers will stop work for two hours from 9:00am (AEDT).

The action is part of the NSW Teachers Federation's seven-month campaign to improve the State Government's pay offer.

The federation's acting president, Bob Lipscombe, says he understands the frustration of parents over the disruption.

"Teachers are very reluctant to take industrial action. We'd hoped to avoid industrial action around these matters," he said.

Mr Lipscombe says there may be more industrial action in future.

"We're hopeful that when the Government sees the feelings of teachers in such an obvious way, as they will this morning, that they'll commence negotiations in good faith that will lead to a settlement around these issues," he said.

"But unfortunately if the Government is not prepared to reach some accommodation around these matters, then certainly consideration will need to be given to that in the future."

The Education Department says 90 per cent of schools will remain open, but parents should check directly with their children's school if unsure.

The department's director-general, Michael Coutts-Trotter, says he is disappointed teachers are pushing ahead with the action.

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