The State Government will this morning file an application in the SA Employment Tribunal (SAET) requesting conciliation before the Tribunal to finally resolve the protracted teachers’ Enterprise Bargaining negotiations.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said, despite negotiations being held in good faith for more than 15 months, union bosses from the Australian Education Union had shown no sign of wanting to reach sensible agreement on the “generous” offer and – instead – have foreshadowed even more disruptive industrial action from next week.
The AEU has publicly flagged a series of rolling stoppages and rallies from next Thursday, demanding members close their classrooms an hour earlier than usual so they can protest outside offices of Members of Parliament.
“It’s now abundantly clear that the union bosses from the AEU would much prefer to carry on their circus and cause maximum chaos and confusion for hard-working students, parents and grandparents than sit down sensibly and try and resolve this protracted dispute,” said Mr Lucas.
“We are calling on the union to immediately call off its planned rolling stoppages to allow for the conciliation process to take its course.
“A very generous offer has been made that provides teachers a 2.35% per annum pay rise – and principals and preschool directors a 3.35% per annum pay rise – to May 2022, much higher than the current rate of inflation of 1.4%.
“In addition, the offer includes $42 million over four years in additional support for schools identified as having high levels of complexity, $13 million to create new positions for highly- accomplished and lead teachers, while $4.3 million to attract and retain teachers in country schools.
“Since then we’ve seen the AEU support a full-day strike, even though most teachers rejected the union’s demands to walk off the job, and work-to-rule bans which have included some members not writing remarks on student report cards, not attending staff meetings or answering emails at certain times of the day.
“The AEU has said that industrial action will take place unless there is a “substantially improved” offer. The reality is, no amount of industrial action is going to give South Australian taxpayers any more money for pay rises.
“We hope the SAET can assist to finally resolve this matter and prevent any further disruption to students and their families.”