What you said

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch President Christine Wilkinson (address to Sydney rally)

“This sea of yellow is incredible. Yellow symbolises optimism and hope. Together we can make change. We want teachers to be paid what they deserve. We want a fair deal for all our wonderful support staff. Teachers are being asked to do more and more because we can't get people to join the profession. We do not want to be babysitting up to 70 students because we cannot get casuals. Let’s hope all our voices are heard by the state government and employers so we can look forward to an optimistic future.”

Mark Morey, Secretary, Unions NSW (address to Sydney rally)

“When nurses, paramedics, cleaners and teachers are on the street, you know there’s something wrong. Ten long years of wage suppression and now you cannot afford to live in the areas you teach in. It is a disgrace. This is more than just about money, it’s about workload. This is the system run on the back of the goodwill of teachers and support staff. This is about retention of qualified teachers and administration staff. Employers knew there was going to be a shortfall, so they handed out a pay cut. The final thing this is about is respect.”

Sailin Mar, teacher, Trinity Catholic College, Regents Park

“I’ve been a teacher for 30 years, and I’ve seen huge changes. The workload is now enormous. We’re not coping. We can’t maintain a family and work-life balance. Something's gotta give.

Larry Grumley, teacher, Catherine McAuley, Westmead

“This is about the future of teaching. We’re losing teachers because of deteriorating conditions and poor pay scales compared to the rest of the workforce. We’re here for the future.”

Sally Quinnell, music teacher, St Anthony’s Catholic College, Padua

“The workload is unacceptable. We cannot keep going with the conditions we have. It’s untenable. Teachers are not being paid for the time and expertise we give.”

Sarah Holt , HSIE/Business Services teacher, Penola Catholic College, Emu Plains

“I’m here to improve working conditions and for teachers to get respect for what we do.”

Lauren Walters, teacher, St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill

“It’s time for the employer to realise how much work we put in.”

Flora Cortez, teacher, All Saints Catholic College, Liverpool

“Everybody deserves a decent place to work. I’ve been working for more than 30 years, and today is my free day, but I got up early and here I am to support everybody."

Tina Ruello, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Deputy President and teacher, Catherine McAuley, Westmead (address to Sydney rally)

“This is a day to make a difference! I’m going to use my voice to highlight the changes that need to occur in the teaching profession.”

IEUA Acting Federal President Christine Cooper (address to Sydney rally)

“Your determination for action from employers and government is just so encouraging. You've been pushed to breaking point. You are exhausted, struggling with workloads, inadequate planning time, and struggling everywhere with teacher shortages.”

Anna Luedi, teacher, Marist Catholic College North Shore (address to Sydney rally)

“First and foremost, teachers are here to serve students, not to serve data walls or NAPLAN scores, the latest pedagogical fad or educational textbook that tells us to complete yet another teaching and learning rubric. We are not here to serve the CEO or our diocese. Our profession has been swallowed up by accountability. We have been crushed by data collection and documentation, and therefore we barely have time to check in with our students, because we need to move on with our learning intention and success.”

Gregory Dowle, ICT support officer De La Salle Catholic College, Caringbah

“It’s so important to hear the voice of school support staff in particular.”

Helen Rigby, teacher Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, North Ryde

“I’ve never seen the lack of young people coming into teaching. There’s such a shortage that I’m concerned that by the time I have grandchildren, there’ll be no one to teach them. We’re burnt out, exhausted and the workload is massive.”

Rod Herbert, music teacher, Marist Catholic College, North Shore

“I’m here for better conditions for teachers and support staff. We need to make it attractive for young teachers to stay in the profession, so we don’t have kids siting outside classrooms because someone got sick, and half the staff are away.”

Janessa Docking (left), teacher, St Gregory’s Primary School, Queanbeyan

“I stopped work alongside thousands of other overworked, overlooked and overwhelmed teachers. I stopped for my students and what they deserve. They deserve a teacher who feels valued, who doesn’t need to sacrifice tasks to keep on top of their workload, who gets the support they need to deal with the needs of their class. I stopped for support staff and learning support staff who are paid significantly lower than their government school counterparts. I stopped for those lifelong teachers who have left their beloved career because they can’t sustain the workload anymore.”

Sue Osborne