Staff shortages and issues relating to working conditions has resulted in local teachers taking industrial action to highlight their ongoing dispute with the NSW Government

Singleton High School teachers took to the street this week to voice their anger at the failure of the NSW Government to address staff shortages in local schools. Photo supplied.
Singleton High School teachers took to the street this week to voice their anger at the failure of the NSW Government to address staff shortages in local schools. Photo supplied.

Across the Singleton district public school teachers have taken industrial action to highlight their campaign to address staff shortages and working conditions.

The teachers from primary schools and the Singleton High School want the NSW Government to listen and act on their concerns.

Singleton Teachers Association spokesman said the chronic staff shortages has been raised with the Government for a couple of years now and been ignored.

Singleton High School teachers 'walk-out' this week in protest at their concerns being ignored by the NSW Government. Photo supplied.

Singleton High School teachers 'walk-out' this week in protest at their concerns being ignored by the NSW Government. Photo supplied.

In a statement from Singleton High School Teachers Federation Representative on their walk-out this week they said members of Singleton High School have taken this action today to highlight our concerns around teacher workload and staffing inadequacies at our school, in the Hunter and across the state. Locally at Singleton High School we have had issues filling permanent specialist positions, for example agriculture teachers, and sourcing sufficient casual teachers for school operations.

"Members are angry because the state Government has known about these issues and has done nothing about it. Their own documents have revealed that we will run out of teachers in five years. These documents also say this is due to teachers' salaries and excessive workloads," they said.

NSW Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell. said it is disappointing to see the union encouraging teachers in the Singleton area to stop work, especially now that students are finally getting back into the classroom after a long period of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The current NSW Teachers Federation campaign is misleading and simply untrue. There is no teacher shortage in NSW, nor in the Singleton area. Singleton Public School currently has zero vacancies, Mount Pleasant Public School has zero vacancies and Singleton High School has one vacancy, which is being actively recruited for," she said.

"The NSW Government recently released its $125 million Teacher Supply Strategy, which outlines a number of strategies to ensure there is a steady pipeline of teachers coming into the workforce now and into the future.

"Teacher remuneration is determined by award negotiations with the NSW Teachers Federation in accordance with the NSW Public Sector Wages Policy. Teacher remuneration has increased by 2.5% per annum over the duration of the current award, and teacher salaries in NSW are among the highest in the country."