Teachers to walk off the job

TEACHERS across Wellington Shire are preparing to walk off the job on Thursday in protest at contentious new government proposals, which include merit pay and less chance of moving up the pay scale for public school teachers.

The State Government’s proposals have outraged teachers across the state, with Australian Education Union state president Mary Bluett calling the move “offensive”, and feared it would drive teachers out of the industry.

Claiming the new deal would help reach the Coalition’s target of making Victorian teachers the best paid in the country, the government’s proposals include annual wage rises of 2.5 per cent, and also offering 70 per cent of teachers performance pay, as an incentive to raise classroom standards.

“Performance pay is an insult to professional teachers,” Ms Bluett said.

“It implies they need to have a carrot dangled in front of them for them to do their very best by their students.”

The performance pay bonus would range from 1.4 per cent to 10 per cent, with the government defending the idea as rewarding the best teachers.