Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



24 October 2018

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Unions and Labor disrupting parents and schools

Labor Education spokesperson Michelle O’Byrne's comments on school closures demonstrates that Labor is in lockstep with unions in wanting to cause maximum pain and disruption to Tasmanians.

The reason some schools will close early today is because the AEU scheduled industrial action at a time deliberately designed to force schools to close. This was their clear aim.

The Government has worked closely with the Education Department, individual schools and principals to keep as many schools open as possible, avoiding disruption to parents and students. As a result of this, 134 schools are open for the entire day as usual.

Ms O’Byrne’s call for a “blanket closure*” makes clear that Labor wanted all 196 Tasmanian state schools closed. Labor wanted maximum disruption across the state, as the unions do.

The Government is employing 250 more teachers to help address teacher workload and deliver a high quality education for Tasmanian students. Our offer of a 6 per cent pay rise over the next three years is fair and affordable, and it allows us to employ all of these extra staff.

An extra 1 per cent increase above the Government’s wages policy, if provided to all public sector workers, would cost Tasmania $285 million including superannuation, over four years – eating into the amount available to hire more teachers, nurses and doctors.

It’s completely contradictory for unions and Labor to on one hand be calling for more investment in essential services, and on the other wanting to spend an extra $28 million a year without gaining a single extra nurse, teacher or doctor.

*Examiner 24/10/18 “Ms O’Byrne also called for the Minister to have blanket closure in place with a hard stop time for all schools”.



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