Wagga residents on Baylis Street were surprised by a large protest today, Thursday 30 June, as teachers proclaimed their message for the NSW Government.
“What do we want? Time to teach! When do we want it? Now!”
With just two days to go before school holidays, more than 100 teachers from both public and Catholic schools in Wagga marched through the centre of town as part of statewide industrial action.
It’s the first time in more than 25 years that public and Catholic schools have taken action together with the NSW Teachers Federation and Independent Education Union NSW/ACT both making a stand over wages and conditions.
“You gonna tell ’em what happens now?” came the call on the bullhorn as teachers in yellow and red shirts marched past Myer.
“If there’s no teachers, there ain’t no future!”
Teachers are angry over the three per cent pay rise delivered in the NSW Budget, describing it as “an insult” and below inflation.
The slogans worn by many at today’s march demanded “More than thanks” and “Hear our voice”.
Placards stated: “I’d rather be teaching, but this is important”, “My working conditions are your child’s learning conditions” and “Teacher burnout is why we have this turnout!”.
One child carried a sign that read “I deserve a qualified maths teacher,” followed by a parent whose sign asked, “Maybe Perrottet didn’t have a qualified maths teacher either?”
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has expressed her disappointment and accused the unions of playing politics.