Teachers give strike ultimatum

THE NSW Teachers Federation has threatened to up its industrial action by way of a full-day strike by late November if the State Government does not come to the wages negotiation table.

Public school teachers from across the Northern Rivers stopped work for about two hours on November 2 in protest at the Government's 2.5% cap on wage increases for the public sector.

About 100 teachers gathered at the Lismore Star Court Arcade where a speech from the NSW Teachers Federation president was broadcast live.

Lismore Teachers Federation president Gae Masters said members voted unanimously in support of a full-day strike on November 29 if the Government failed to provide fair salary offers.

Teachers also demanded the Government immediately commence "good faith" negotiations.

Under the wage cap, any wage increase above 2.5% would have to come from employee-related savings.

The State Government claimed the cap was necessary to help fund State infrastructure.

But that meant teachers were forced to double-dip, Lismore Teacher's Federation vice-president David Willis said.

"So we have to double dip through our tax and by taking a pay cut which is just not fair," he said.

"This is not about the bread and butter of teachers but about student learning conditions as well."

Mr Willis said the Federation was concerned the 2.5% wage cap was below the 3.5% inflation rate.

The Federation wants the State Government to make a fair offer without any trade-offs, Ms Masters said.


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