Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert made a strong statement of support in Alice Springs today for industrial action being taken by teachers in the Northern Territory.
"The legitimate efforts of teachers in the NT to negotiate for fairer work conditions are currently being hampered by an uncooperative NT Labor Government," said Senator Siewert.
Teachers in the NT recently took industrial action after the Commissioner for Public Employment again failed to deliver an offer that would guarantee teachers equitable pay and conditions.
Lisa Hall, a teacher working in Central Australia said, "What most people don't understand is that it's not just about a pay rise for us already working here. It's about ensuring that the pay and, more importantly, the conditions are good enough to entice new teachers to the NT in the future."
Senator Siewert expressed concern about the Commissioner for Public Employment hiding behind outdated Federal workplace legislation, saying -
"It seems the CPE will only allow a very narrow focus for the dialogue around remuneration, and won't allow them to negotiate on the most important aspect of their job - workplace conditions."
"Relying on the provisions of Howard's Work Choices regime to obstruct better conditions in NT schools is not in the spirit of the promised 'education revolution' " concluded Senator Siewert.