20 July, 2022
Teachers take joint action
Hundreds of teachers from all around western NSW gathered in Dubbo last month, as members of the NSW Teachers Federation and Independent Education Union Australia (IEUA) joined forces in a 24-hour strike.
NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo
Gavrielatos said this joint action is a direct result of the
manifest failure of the NSW government and Catholic
employers to address the teaching crisis in our schools.
IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said
the crisis was impacting the entire profession.
“The joint decision to join with the Independent
Education Union is an indication that this issue is not
confined to public education,” said Bree Patton,
Gilgandra High School’s NSW Teachers Federation
However, the strike didn’t come without criticism.
NSW education minister Sarah Mitchell said she was
‘disappointed with the action’ and wanted to bring
attention to the families affected.
“It really does make it very difficult for thousands of
families and students and it's frustrating that they're continuing
to push down this cause rather than just to negotiate
with us and try and reach a good outcome," said Ms
"We've got the most generous pay increase on the
table of anywhere in the country, yet other states aren't
seeing this sort of industrial action."
In response, Ms Patton has said that “comments
from the education minister about teachers striking to
only cause disruption to families and students shows a
lack of understanding of current issues and the More
Than Thanks campaign”.
Tim Danaher, the central west NSW Teacher’s
Federation organiser has called the education ministers
comments ‘highly hypocritical’.
“It's highly hypocritical that the education minister is
so focussed on the disruption caused by three days of
industrial action over a 10-year period. Everyday students
across the state face disruption as a result of the
government's inaction and failure to address the teacher
shortages and mounting issues in the public education
The recent HSC overhaul announcement was also
under criticism by the NSW Teacher’s Federation. The
overhaul announced includes changes to modernise the
HSC curriculum and assessment, including the abolishment
of the current system classifying HSC courses as
category A or B (vocation education and training), and
piloting more HSC exams online.
“The recent HSC overhaul announcement is taking
away from the most pressing issues that NSW schools
are currently facing,” said Miss Patton.
“The teacher crisis is resulting in student’s missing
out on the education that they deserve. Teacher’s workloads
continue to increase as we deal with the complexities
of the job and as we try to fill the gaps that have
resulted from continual government failings.”
Gilgandra High School was closed for the day on June 30, while Gilgandra Public School and St Joey’s Primary School were running under minimal supervision.