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Recurrent and capital funding key to essential resourcing and staffing levels
There are just not enough people employed in the NSW public education system, Federation President Maurie Mulheron declared at Annual Conference today.
Mr Mulheron mentioned 1200 positions (which supported the work of school teachers) cut from the NSW Department of Education due to the Local Schools, Local Decisions policy; more than 5000 teachers gone from TAFE; and about 150 qualified teacher positions in NSW gaols.
Inadequate resources mean students are unable to meet expected learning outcomes and ultimately their life chances are compromised, he said. And, for teachers, denied resourcing and staffing levels essential for the job results in “overloaded, stressed teachers running on adrenalin every day of the week”.
“Recurrent and capital funding — that we are starved of as a system — will always be at the forefront of our campaign,” he said.
“We can’t seriously talk about improving working conditions, learning conditions, staffing levels, reducing workload unless we talk about the need to get permanent, recurrent funding into the system.
“We are a wealthy nation but we act, when it comes to public education, as though we were an impoverished nation.”
He suggested strategies to achieve the union’s priorities. “We need to be assertive and engaged … as intellectual workers by reading, researching, analysing, not being scared of criticism and advancing our ideas in the world of politics and be the constant persuader of ideas.”
He thanked delegates for the work they do in their workplaces, teachers associations and communities.
Debate over the next three days will democratically determine the policies of the NSW Teachers Federation. Delegates are teachers elected by their member colleagues hand have travelled from all corners of the state to Sydney for Federation’s 101st Annual Conference.
Issues on the agenda include salaries, permanency, assessment and reporting, Aboriginal education, TAFE, Corrective Services and schools funding.
The conference was opened with an Acknowledgement of Country and a performance by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ensemble from Wollongong Performing Arts High School.
— Kerri Car