Union bosses from the Australian Education Union have lost considerable community and teacher support, with an overwhelming majority of government schools and preschools choosing to stay open during tomorrow’s half-day strike.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the fact nearly 80 per cent (or 692) of 875 SA public primary, secondary and preschools have reported they will stay open – 194 with a modified program – was a clear indication union bosses had failed to mount a convincing case for action.
Only around 20 per cent (or 183) schools and preschools have elected to close for the morning – compared with 47 per cent (or 419) schools during the last (full-day) strike a decade ago.
“Let there be no mistake – this is a resounding vote of no-confidence in the union bosses whose ill-conceived rush to strike has been shown to be puerile in the extreme,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“The comprehensive lack of public support for tomorrow morning’s strike amongst schools and preschools – with the vast majority choosing to open their doors as usual or with a modified program – should be a wake-up call for the AEU.
“They’ve shown poor judgment and complete lack of regard for hardworking parents and grandparents in their race to industrial action.
“The last time teachers went on strike it was a full day and more than 400 schools and preschools shut their doors – this time round it’s for half the time, and with less than half of schools closing.
“Parents, grandparents and many teachers know that the Marshall Government is delivering a record investment in education and there is no plausible, logical or rational reason in the world for the union bosses to be striking.”
Mr Lucas said State Budget papers show recurrent annual funding for schools increase by $515 million per year to 2021-22 – the biggest investment in schools by any State Government in the state’s history.
“Union bosses should be discussing with the Government the best ways to spend this massive increase in funding to impact positively on student learning outcomes, rather than going on strike,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.