As the days of the pandemic turned into weeks and now months, there has been a steady and relentless drumbeat of coronavirus developments, tightenings and easings, success stories and failures. The frustration and confusion felt by everyone has been palpable. It dominates many conversations and leaves precious little oxygen for anything else. Despite this crowding of the airwaves, some stories still managed to make their way up and into our conversations. Collated here are just some of the insights, concerns, praise and frustrations of our members, pulled from our social media platforms.
Resisting the ‘snap back'
Damien: One of the critical ingredients in any reform process is having political leadership that supports it on principal. Unfortunately for Australia, the conservative parties have staked their identity on opposing equality in any context, and opposing any measures that might support or foster equality.
Public sector wage freeze
Hayley: A big shout out to the amazing nurses who work extremely hard both before, during and after the pandemic. You are hardworking and understaffed. Thank you for your support when I needed you.
Mel: Where is the gratitude towards front line workers who are getting a cost of living adjustment – because that’s all 2.5% is.
Janet: I may have missed something, but did our politicians take a cut? Pretty sure NZ's PM took a cut in her wages.
Paul: Thieves in suits.
Michelle: It doesn’t help that every school is doing something different.
Debbie: Government is making decisions without consulting key stakeholders. General statements that schools will have “this or that” and not ensuring all schools in the state have access to these resources, eg sanitiser, extra cleaners, classrooms that are versatile etc.
Pat: All that teachers have requested since this entire situation commenced is to be involved in the decision-making process. With no practising teachers currently in any decision-making role this seems entirely reasonable.
Ann: How disappointing and just no sign of pastoral care.
Patrick: I imagine that many of my fellow teachers would agree that school has been “on”, and that the actual delivery, and subsequent follow up of work has been quite onerous. I will be happy to get back into the classroom when it is deemed safe for me to attend.
Simon: The thing that seems to be causing the biggest stress right now for my colleagues is the constant changing of students returning to schools, the fact that the Berejiklian government simply has not consulted as to the mental impact her constant changes are putting on school communities, or the strain it is causing us personally. Frustrated parents are now simply sending students to school. Today we have nearly a third of our students returned, and this is before the rostered one-day-a-week return system starts. And now they’re all coming back at the end of May!
Support staff day
Margaret: I couldn’t do my job without them. I’m so grateful for all they do!
Janet: The backbones of schools. The go-to people.
Maree: Thank you to all support staff. You are much needed and appreciated.