The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC


Media Releases

Sad sacks: Grinch union bosses of AEU steal Christmas from children and working families

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Union boss grinches within the Australian Education Union have forced an Adelaide primary school to reschedule its popular twilight end-of-year Christmas concert to the middle of a working day, denying many working parents and grandparents the opportunity to watch their children perform.

The “outrageous, mean-spirited” action is part of state-wide work-to-rule bans being encouraged by the union bosses as part of their industrial action against the State Government, that also include cuts or changes to school camps and discos and refusing to write remarks on report cards, take relief lessons, attend additional staff meetings or answer emails out of work hours. 

Treasurer Rob Lucas is calling on the union bosses to think of the children and immediately call off the ban at Trinity Gardens Primary School. 

“The union boss grinches within the AEU are trying to steal Christmas from working mums and dads and grandparents by robbing them of the opportunity to share in the delight of their children’s end-of-year concert celebrations,’’ said Mr Lucas. 

“At a time that’s meant to be about joy and goodwill, this is outrageous, mean-spirited behaviour from union bosses who have shown they’ll stop at nothing to forward their own agenda. 

“Children and their families – who just want to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the end of year – have become collateral damage in the union’s infatuation with industrial action.

“We call on the union boss grinches to think of the children and show some decency by immediately calling off this outrageous work-to-rule ban so that the end-of-year Christmas concert can be held at a more family-friendly time.”

Trinity Gardens Primary School wrote to parents this week, informing them that their end- f-year concert celebrations would be held this year from 10am on a Tuesday in December (instead of the usual family-friendly twilight time). 

They have also had to reschedule their school discos for during the day – instead of at night – and there will be potentially fewer staff available to attend upcoming school camps.

Last month, in attempting to defend the work-to-rule action, AEU union boss Howard Spreadbury told media that report writing was an onerous and time-consuming task and teachers needed to take back “control”.

“…what teachers and support staff and leaders are doing in fact, is taking some control over the ever-expanding work that’s being required of them by the system. So, it’s a means of taking back some control in relation to doing their job, but also … the excessive workload that they face,” Mr Spreadbury told FIVEaa breakfast. 

“These written reports take many, many hours…”

Mr Lucas said no amount of industrial action would give taxpayers any more money to spend on salary increases beyond the 2.35% offered to teachers, and 3.35% offered to principals and preschool directors. This is a generous offer given that inflation is less than 2%.


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