Teachers meet amid small school fears

MEMBERS of the NSW Teachers Federation will today endorse the beginning of the end for small schools, according to small school P and C presidents.

At a stop work meeting today, teachers federation members will be urged to vote for a 2.5 per cent pay increase per annum, establishing a new pay scale for teachers employed after 2016 and a higher salary classification for teachers who wish to stay in the classroom rather than seek promotion.

But the proposed agreement will also reclassify the roles of principals in small schools, which Borenore Public School P and C president Jason Vials and Canobolas Public School P and C president Melissa Caulfield say is a devastating blow for small schools. 

“We’re very concerned over time small schools will be lost,” Mr Vials said. 

Mrs Caulfield said small schools would lose autonomy and lose out on funding if money was allocated through a bigger school in Orange. 

NSW Teachers Federation country organiser John Pratt expects about 300 Orange teachers to attend the meeting at the Ophir Tavern at 9am today to discuss pay and conditions.

He said, given the current climate in education and the animosity between  the states and the federal government, it was important members got on board. 

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“It’s very hostile across the country. We need the guarantee on wages and working conditions,” he said.

Orange public schools are open today despite the stop work meeting, but only minimum supervision will be provided for students. 

The meetings are not endorsed by the Department of Education are expected to take about two hours.

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