Teachers set to stop work as Barnett Government ignores deadline

State School Teachers’ Union members will go ahead with stop work action, after the Barnett Government ignored the deadline to reverse its education cuts.

The Government was given until 5pm today, Friday 6th September, to reverse its decision to slash 500 education positions and 30% from the budget for special programs.

The Union estimated the cuts could also cost as many as 500 teaching jobs over the next few years.

“We are immensely disappointed with Colin Barnett’s decision not to reverse these cuts,” said union President Anne Gisborne.

“Thousands of teachers, Principals, Education Assistants, parents and children attended a rally on Tuesday to voice their opposition to Mr Barnett’s plan to rip the heart out of education.

“Mr Barnett is refusing to listen to all those people by digging his heels in, which will be to the detriment of our public school system.”

The union had not yet decided exactly when the stop work meeting would take place, but Ms Gisborne said it would be before the end of the current school term.

“We expect thousands of our members to stop work in the next three weeks,” she said.

Ms Gisborne said a stop work rally would be held in the morning to minimise disruption to students and classes would resume in the afternoon.

“This is not an action we want to take, but someone has to stand up for the education of our children.

“We understand the action will cause some inconvenience for parents, however we feel that their children losing a few hours of teaching time is nothing compared to what they will lose if these cuts are implemented.”

Ms Gisborne is scheduled to meet with the Education Minister Peter Collier next week.

The last time teachers stopped work was 2008.