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Teacher protest 2011 style

johnboy 27 September 2011 70

civic square protest

They came to Civic Square, they waved their red flags, they lurched slowly left to right in time to John Lennon covers, they congratulated each other for being there, and they were very sure that giving themselves more money is in the best interests of the future of civilisation.

They really don’t like funding for football teams, which is fair enough, but in the 5 mintues I was there while football was brought up many times there was less explanation of the benefit to education of spending more money on teachers.

A strain of luddism was in the air, referring (IIRC) to computers as “infernal machines”. (It’s only been an education trend for 30+years, surely coming to grips with computers should have been part of their own professional development?)

Every 30 seconds or so one school or other was congratulated on getting 100% of their membership to the rally. The cynic in me wondered how this was being verified.

The protest markers were not entirely filled by bodies, which makes one wonder if turnout was below expectations.

They did, however, appear to be having a wonderful spring morning. No doubt their students felt the same way.

Here’s a slideshow of pictures I took at the rally.


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what_the what_the 2:21 pm 27 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

[
You don’t think that a strike that doesn’t effect the community in any way might be a bit … pointless?

Don’t you think a protest which didn’t affect kids schooling may be looked on with more good will by the people who they are trying to influence?

They’re not trying to win over the public, they’re trying to get more pay. If the public is inconvenienced, they complain ot the people who pay the teachers, ie the government. That’s the point.

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 3:18 pm 27 Sep 11

Judging by the photo’s, we don’t have a lot of Teachers in the ACT Public school system, or, where were the rest of the teachers that are either not at the strike or not at school, but which have inconvenienced parents again?

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 3:54 pm 27 Sep 11

what_the said :

Ben_Dover said :

Don’t you think a protest which didn’t affect kids schooling may be looked on with more good will by the people who they are trying to influence?

They’re not trying to win over the public, they’re trying to get more pay. If the public is inconvenienced, they complain ot the people who pay the teachers, ie the government. That’s the point.

I think with the reputation that teachers have, and unions have, then geting the public onside would be more productive than pissing them off.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 3:58 pm 27 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

what_the said :

Ben_Dover said :

Don’t you think a protest which didn’t affect kids schooling may be looked on with more good will by the people who they are trying to influence?

They’re not trying to win over the public, they’re trying to get more pay. If the public is inconvenienced, they complain ot the people who pay the teachers, ie the government. That’s the point.

I think with the reputation that teachers have, and unions have, then geting the public onside would be more productive than pissing them off.

Most parents I’ve spoken to, even if they were significantly inconvenienced, were very sympathetic to the strike.

Mind you, that probably says as much about the people I mix with as it does about public perception of the strike.

TomGreenwell TomGreenwell 4:01 pm 27 Sep 11

johnboy said: “They really don’t like funding for football teams, which is fair enough, but in the 5 mintues I was there while football was brought up many times there was less explanation of the benefit to education of spending more money on teachers.”

It’s a pity you only joined us for 5 minutes – and missed the substance of what was said – before reporting the event. AEU Acting Secretary Glenn Fowler explained how uncompetitive salaries have led to a chronic shortage of school counsellors (20 schools without one altogether) and relief teachers. The ACT P&C expressed their support for the action that teachers are taking. Former public education student, Nick Preston, described the enormous contribution teachers had made to his life and why he, like the majority of Canberrans, feels teachers are underpaid.

johnboy said: “A strain of luddism was in the air, referring (IIRC) to computers as “infernal machines”. (It’s only been an education trend for 30+years, surely coming to grips with computers should have been part of their own professional development?)”

Watch out for jokes from old-timers… They’re often very subtle! If you’re interested, this is what I do with technology to assist my student’s learning: http://www.cliojournal.com .

johnboy said: “The protest markers were not entirely filled by bodies, which makes one wonder if turnout was below expectations.”

The Canberra Times reports attendance of 1500 (http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/education/teachers-rally-for-better-pay/2305016.aspx) – an overwhelming expression of dissatisfaction with the Government’s offer.

Interesting speculation about the protest markers but I’m just not sure that the person who put out the witches hats would have been able to predict that precisely the exact area the anticipated turnout would consume. More likely, they were concerned that there was sufficient space for people to access the theatre, library and assembly, don’t you think?

johnboy johnboy 4:04 pm 27 Sep 11

Not all of us had the whole morning to devote to flag waving and singing songs about Andrew Barr.

More’s the pity.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 4:05 pm 27 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

Most parents I’ve spoken to, even if they were significantly inconvenienced, were very sympathetic to the strike.

Mind you, that probably says as much about the people I mix with as it does about public perception of the strike.

The unemployed?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:28 pm 27 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

Most parents I’ve spoken to, even if they were significantly inconvenienced, were very sympathetic to the strike.

Mind you, that probably says as much about the people I mix with as it does about public perception of the strike.

The unemployed?

I was thinking more along the lines of: “people who are intelligent enough to realise that action taken to increase the quality of education their children receives is important, rather than treating school like some glorified form of daycare”.

EvanJames EvanJames 4:45 pm 27 Sep 11

A bit late, but this:

“They came to Civic Square, they waved their red flags, they lurched slowly left to right in time to John Lennon covers, they congratulated each other for being there, and they were very sure that giving themselves more money is in the best interests of the future of civilisation.”

was bloody good!

What a pointless event, more like a parody of an industrial meeting, like something people would do who’ve read about stop-work meetings but never actually experienced a proper one.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 4:57 pm 27 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

I was thinking more along the lines of: “people who are intelligent enough to realise that action taken to increase the quality of education their children receives is important, rather than treating school like some glorified form of daycare”.

Ah, a sound rebuttal of an argument which no one has made. Well done. Any more windmills around here?

Kittykate Kittykate 6:18 pm 27 Sep 11

“Having been a teacher in a former life I sympathise on the issue of lousy pay but could they not have had the meeting at say 3:30 pm? They’re hurting the kids by not showing up to work and doing their jobs.”

+1

what_the what_the 6:23 pm 27 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

Most parents I’ve spoken to, even if they were significantly inconvenienced, were very sympathetic to the strike.

Mind you, that probably says as much about the people I mix with as it does about public perception of the strike.

The unemployed?

I was thinking more along the lines of: “people who are intelligent enough to realise that action taken to increase the quality of education their children receives is important, rather than treating school like some glorified form of daycare”.

zing!

ThatUniStudent ThatUniStudent 7:03 pm 27 Sep 11

Where is that art work? I have a sudden urge to take a skate board to it. Speaking of which, the little man from the 3 men on a stairway in Civic seems to have gone missing again.

caf caf 8:33 pm 27 Sep 11

Mysteryman said :

Of course they couldn’t. The idea is to inconvenience people in order to make their voice heard.

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

..as opposed to when it doesn’t inconvenience you, and you don’t even notice it happened.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 3:12 am 28 Sep 11

Mysteryman said :

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

wow. It must be truly inconvenient for parents to have to look after their own children. You know, whilst a profession fights to keep standards high for the future for the profession and education system.

The importance of being able to attract and retain teachers to the ACT system cannot be underestimated. We have a very successful education system, if not the most successful education system in Australia… perhaps the workers that ensure this system performs at a high level are due wages that reflect this. Teachers are asking for parity with teachers in NSW (which still won’t make us the highest paid teachers in Australia). Competitive wages are one way of ensuring Canberra attracts a continued stream of quality teachers, which will continue to help the ACT system to remain one of the best performers in Australia. Instead, the ACT Government has made two or three offers that will see Canberra Teachers be the lowest paid teachers in Australia by the end of the three year agreement.

Whilst much has been made of the differences between the NSW and ACT systems, the fact remains that we do essentially the same job, with essentially the same conditions as our counterparts in any other state or territory, and we should be entitled to a wage that is more competitive, essentially so that teaching in the ACT is at least as attractive as our neighbouring state. Teachers shouldn’t have to threaten, nor engage, in Industrial Action simply to ensure conditions that are more equitable with those of other jurisdictions; particularly when we deliver a better result for the children of the ACT.

No matter how DET and the ACT Government want to dress and massage the figures, there has been a drop in the number of applications to teach in the ACT in the 5 years since wages became less competitive. That decrease is not likely to improve with an ever-widening gap.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 9:36 am 28 Sep 11

Gerry-Built said :

Mysteryman said :

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

wow. It must be truly inconvenient for parents to have to look after their own children. You know, whilst a profession fights to keep standards high for the future for the profession and education system.

When people point out to you that your strike is counter productive as it is alienating the group whose support you need most, why not STFU and listen?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:55 am 28 Sep 11

Ben_Dover said :

Gerry-Built said :

Mysteryman said :

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

wow. It must be truly inconvenient for parents to have to look after their own children. You know, whilst a profession fights to keep standards high for the future for the profession and education system.

When people point out to you that your strike is counter productive as it is alienating the group whose support you need most, why not STFU and listen?

A quick ask-around about attitudes towards the teacher’s strike at a few workplaces and friends/family saw a unanimous reply of ‘just give them more money’.

Don’t know how you interpret that as ‘counter productive and alienating the group whose support you need most’.

I’d suggest that you need to STFU and listen instead of making assumptions that don’t appear to be even slightly on the money.

Bluey Bluey 10:06 am 28 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

Ben_Dover said :

Gerry-Built said :

Mysteryman said :

Usually when industrial action inconveniences me, though, I tend to get more annoying with the strikers and I’m less likely to side with them.

wow. It must be truly inconvenient for parents to have to look after their own children. You know, whilst a profession fights to keep standards high for the future for the profession and education system.

When people point out to you that your strike is counter productive as it is alienating the group whose support you need most, why not STFU and listen?

A quick ask-around about attitudes towards the teacher’s strike at a few workplaces and friends/family saw a unanimous reply of ‘just give them more money’.

Don’t know how you interpret that as ‘counter productive and alienating the group whose support you need most’.

I’d suggest that you need to STFU and listen instead of making assumptions that don’t appear to be even slightly on the money.

Sure. Give them more money.

Then WA can have a whinge about being the least paid, we’ll give them more money too. Oh no now QLD is the least paid, better give them more money and on it goes.

Until education is nationalised across all states and territories this circus will continue forever.

National curriculum, national pay scales. Moving to NSW wont be lucrative anymore, they pay the exact same as anywhere else.\

Chances of this happening. Snowflakes chance in hell. It makes far too much sense to be implemented.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 10:11 am 28 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

[
A quick ask-around about attitudes towards the teacher’s strike at a few workplaces and friends/family saw a unanimous reply of ‘just give them more money’.

Oh boy! Jim asked his mate what he thought!

I’d suggest that you need to STFU and listen instead of making assumptions that don’t appear to be even slightly on the money.

Why not join in the debate Jim?

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 10:26 am 28 Sep 11

Bluey said :

Until education is nationalised across all states and territories this circus will continue forever.

National curriculum, national pay scales. Moving to NSW wont be lucrative anymore, they pay the exact same as anywhere else.

Chances of this happening. Snowflakes chance in hell. It makes far too much sense to be implemented.

I agree with your points. We are a small enough (population wise) nation to have a national wage standard for most public employees.

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