By David Lee
OVER 150 schools were closed last week as thousands of Victorian state school teachers went on strike, standing strong to dispute the announcement of recent pay rise figures.
Teachers from schools across the Goulburn Valley including Bourchier Street Primary School and Gowrie Street Primary School were among those who rejected the offer of a 2.5 percent pay rise, travelling to Melbourne to join the rally at Hisense Arena, accusing the Baillieu Government of breaking an election promise to make them the best paid teachers in the country.
The Government’s offer also included bonuses for the best performing teachers, with the top 10 percent of teachers paid 10 percent more and the following 20 percent an extra 6 percent, with many who rallied last week rejecting the idea of performance based pay.
Victorian Coalition Government Premier, Ted Baillieu said, “I’m disappointed and I don’t think the strike was necessary.
“We make the point that this is a disruption to students, it’s a disruption to families and it’s a disruption to the education system,” Premier Baillieu said.
The Australian Education Union voted last week to continue strike action if no progress in negotiations is made by the start of term three.