Unions Join forces for stop work meeting


The State School Teachers’ Union, the CPSU/CSA and United Voice members will attend a stop work meeting this Thursday over the government’s education cuts.

Thousands of teachers, Principals, Education Assistants and school support staff were expected to attend the meeting at Gloucester Park from 9:30am-11:30am.

The meeting was called so the unions could update members on the cuts, which will include 500 Education Assistants and support staff and an estimated 600 FTE teaching positions. Additional cuts to roles such as Library Officers and Lab Technicians were also anticipated.

"We have been forced to take this action because the government still refuses to even admit that it is making cuts,” said SSTUWA President Anne Gisborne.

“But we have spoken to school after school and they are telling us that they will have to cut FTE positions, drop core subjects and cancel special programs because of these cuts.”

CPSU/CSA branch Assistant Secretary Rikki Hendon was concerned about the impact the cuts were going to have on students, particularly those with special needs.

“We have a brilliant public school system that has served our state well, but the Barnett Government is putting that in jeopardy by cutting back on resources and staff,” she said.

Secretary of United Voice, Carolyn Smith said the stop work meeting would send a message to the Barnett Government that it had got its priorities all wrong.

“Instead of quality education, Colin Barnett thinks it’s more important to build a stadium and somewhere to park a yacht in the city. He has lost touch with the priorities of everyday people,” she said.

The unions said the stop work meeting would cause some disruptions to classes.

 “We hope parents understand that their children missing out on a couple of hours of schooling is nothing compared to what they’ll miss out on if Mr Barnett goes ahead with his cuts,” said Ms Gisborne.

The action would include not only staff in Perth, but regional centres as well.

Classes would resume in the afternoon and parents should contact their children’s schools for information.