The IEU was invited recently to the launch of the Gallop Report, Valuing the Teaching Profession. It is a significant work that grapples with the increasing complexity of a teacher’s role.
The report hinges on the last NSW Industrial Relations Commission work value case (2004) for teachers. The IEU ran a parallel case to the NSW Teachers Federation and achieved 12% to 19.5% salary increases over 18 months.
Since no capacity now exists to run such a case, it is incumbent upon the profession to take action. The dire need to change how teachers are valued both professionally and financially is abundantly clear.
More release time is crucial
The Gallop Report highlights that allowing additional time for teachers to plan lessons, engage in professional development and collaborate with colleagues is essential.
This thinking parallels that of Dr Saul Karnovsky, a lecturer in pedagogy, professional practice and classroom management at Curtin University in Western Australia. “We need to look at the structural conditions that are shaping teachers’ work in this country,” Dr Karnovsky has said.
He also notes an “ever-growing performance and accountability regime, high-stakes testing, mandatory curriculum content, strict registration requirements and a growing population of students with a diverse variety of learning needs”.
Collegiality in such an environment is severely constrained. Team these constraints with the NSW Curriculum Reform being implemented with undue haste, and the significance of additional release time for teachers becomes plain.