Education reforms proposed by the NSW government are a cost cutting exercise that could make it harder to attract teachers, the Cowra Teachers Association said as local teachers stopped work on Wednesday.
More than 50 teachers met at Cowra Services Club and voted to endorse a NSW Teachers Federation recommendation that it continues to seek negotiations to secure a guarantee from the government that class sizes will not be reduced under the reforms.
Cowra Teachers Association secretary Philippa Paterson said the reforms could reduce teachers’ job security, making it harder to attract teachers.
“Fundamentally it’s a cost cutting exercise on the government’s part and it’s not in the best interests of students,” she said.
“No one’s job will be guaranteed.”
Teachers from Young, Grenfell and Canowindra also participated in the meeting.
Mr Piccoli said in a statement the government guarantees it will put students first and that its reforms place students at the heart of all decision making in education.
“We are not reducing school budgets and we are not reducing the education budget,” he said.
He said the government will reduce bureaucratic red tape and the administrative burdens on principals and teachers.
“We are not sacking teachers or reducing the number of teachers in our schools. We are not cutting teachers’ pay. We are not increasing class sizes.”
Mr Piccoli said the government is maintaining and improving an incentive transfer scheme to ensure it can attract high quality teachers to schools which are harder to staff.
“We are also maintaining nominated transfers, while at the same time ensuring principals have more say in staffing their schools to meet the needs of students,” he said.
“The reforms will not affect teacher tenure nor will teachers be placed on individual contracts.”