Teachers at Griffith North Public School held a brief stop-work to protest the worsening teacher shortage sweeping across NSW.
In June, the Department of Education showed the true stakes of the current crisis, with the ominous line "If we don't address supply gaps now, we will run out of teachers in the next 5 years." The situation doesn't seem to have improved however, with a recent report showing that NSW could run out of classrooms in 2023.
The worrying trend lead to a meeting over recess at Griffith North Public School, where 18 staff members and the NSW Teacher's Federation decided on a three-pronged approach beginning with a ten-minute stop-work.
Lachlan Pendlebury is a teacher at GNPS, and explained what they were asking for. He emphasised that he was speaking as a Teacher's Federation representative, not as a Department of Education employee.
"Put simply, we need to make this profession more appealing. It's an absolutely fantastic job but we're just not getting the young grads taking on education as a degree," he said.
"As a primary school teacher, I get two hours relief a week. We're after two more hours so four hours a week, and a 10 to 15 per cent pay rise. That's not about 'oh, Lachlan wants more money,' it's just making it a more appealing profession," he explained.
The recent Gallop Inquiry showed that teaching salaries were remaining stagnant as other jobs rose with inflation. Mr Pendlebury explained that this could be driving away potential teachers.
"If you're an 18 year old, you've got parents who are teachers. You see them working incredibly hard for not as much money, you might think otherwise about joining the profession."
Mr Pendlebury added that they were keen to adjust the incentives program for Griffith, noting that the allocation of points for teaching in Griffith were notably lower than the surrounding areas despite Griffith being singled out as a major point of concern.
"The whole thing that underpins all of this is what's best for the kids. A shortage of teachers isn't best for the kids ... We're all in it for the right reasons, we're all trying to make it better. There's no us and them.'
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: