IEU meets with Shadow Education Minister

IEU members and officers joined NSW Shadow Education Minister Prue Car MP, centre, in December for an education forum with the local community in Kiama, on the south coast.

IEU Organiser Tina Smith, far left, said: “The Shadow Minister said that if a Labor government were elected in March, it would work with the IEU and the NSW Teachers Federation to address attraction and retention issues in teaching. Teacher burnout has a direct impact on students’ learning. Decisions and strategies would need to evolve along with the needs of teachers and schools.

High school teacher and member of the IEU Executive, Glenn Lowe, second from left, said: “It was great to have a conversation with the Shadow Minister for Education that focused on problems identified by practising teachers. The Shadow Minister clearly understands that a wide range of education issues need tackling in NSW, including pay, conditions and using positive language around education, teachers and the work of schools.”

IEU Organiser Valerie Jones, far right, said: “The Shadow Education Minister said a high priority for NSW Labor was listening to teachers. A forum participant noted that if affordable housing options for teachers and healthcare workers were on the agenda, then it clearly pointed to both professions needing substantial pay rises.”

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Assistant Secretary David Towson, second from right, said: “The teacher shortage crisis needs a long-term plan to attract and retain teachers. The Teach for Australia program, mentioned at the forum, is not a realistic solution and distracts from the main issues of pay and workloads. The suggestion of scaling down teacher training is an insult to qualified teachers and will work against efforts to raise the status of the profession.”

Read more about NSW Labor’s vision for the teaching profession from Labor Leader Chris Minns, who addressed the IEU’s AGM in October: