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Narrabri Public School
We must stand together if we want to get our message across, says Narrabri Fed Rep Tess Lindsay.
Tess, a Learning And Support Teacher, has been the Fed Rep at the school for two years and said she is most proud of having helped younger teachers understand the importance of being a part of Federation and how to stand up for what is right.
“I have been like a dog with a bone!” Tess said of her efforts to get members on board with Federation’s More Than Thanks campaign.
“If only a few of us actively participate, then the Government will think it’s ok,” she said. “It’s not ok!”
“We get what we accept. Let’s not accept this any longer,” Tess added. “We need to attract more teachers to our profession. Our pay is too low and our workload is too high. Our kids are missing out!”
Tess said she has shared every bit of campaign information with members, either by email or during meetings.
“I invited a couple of our more ‘vocal’ members to stand in front of Roy Butler’s office, our local member, to listen to our Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos on his More Than Thanks country tour.”
“All of the schools in our area had a small number of representatives. This was a really motivating experience, so next a few of our school’s Federation members spoke to the staff at the end of a staff Zoom meeting. Each member passionately spoke about different parts of the campaign and the effect that the teacher shortages will have on our students.
“One of our members spoke from a parent perspective and another from an historical viewpoint, a member from our executive team spoke and one of our most passionate members spoke about how we need to be ‘one in: all in!’
Tess said Narrabri Public School was lucky to have every position filled in 2021, but it’s difficult to keep new teachers in the bush, especially if they are only in temporary positions.
“We have one casual teacher, “Tess said, “which means classes are split and other teaching programs are interrupted while those teachers cover classes. Our principal works to maintain routine, however it is hard withonlyonecasualteacheravailable.
“I will never forget one local Federation meeting where the high school teachers spoke to Angelo … they were broken, busted by taking extra classes and dealing with increasingly complex students without enough teachers or school counsellors.”
Tess said she has learned from her experience as Fed Rep that she can be “brave and stand up for what is right.” She encourages other members to nominate to be the Fed Rep in their workplace. “Do it for ou rkids, your kids and your grandkids!”
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