This Thursday, Australian Education Union (AEU) members around South Australia will withdraw half a day's worth of their labour in order to persuade the Department Of Education on a handful of issues.
From 8.40am until 12.15pm, a number of Roxby Downs Area School (RDAS) teachers will be standing by the AEU as proposed changes by the Department of Education will directly affect teachers in regional and rural areas.
Cyrus Weir is a teacher at the RDAS who will be standing with the AEU on Thursday morning. He spoke with RoxFM to explain why action needs to be taken.
"The Union are in the process of negotiating working conditions and pay, and all sorts of things surrounding teaching, and we've come to a bit of a stand-still where the Union has identified some key items that they'd like to go in and fight for, and the Department has identified some things they'd like to do moving forward in the education space.
"At the moment there's a bit of a clash - we can't reach an agreement - and the Union is rallying its supporters to illustrate that these are important issues, and that teachers aren't going to be easily persuaded to drop them.
"It's really important to know that this decision isn't taken lightly by anybody involved, and it's an effort to illustrate that we care deeply about our profession; the longevity of our profession; and the people who are involved in our profession."
Of the issues the AEU are advocating for, one of the "big ticket" items is maintaining the protections surrounding country employment.
"We have some incentives that are provided for teachers to come to remote areas, and under the current proposal that is being offered lots of those would be at risk or taken away," says Mr. Weir.
"It's important that, as teachers who work in the country, we stand together for all of us who work in remote or regional areas, and for all those future teachers who will work in remote or regional areas.
"To ensure that we are putting the best people in the best positions, because they want to be there because it offers an opportunity to grow a career, rather than country teaching being a really undesirable choice for people."
Because not all teachers will be withdrawing their labour on Thursday, the school will be offering a modified program to accomodate all students who may be affected - in short; School is definitely still on, so student attendance is still expected as per usual.
"This is not an ideal situation for anybody in the circumstance, but it is a step to help ensure that our country teachers, and the teachers who are in front of Roxby Downs Area School students are the best possible teachers that we can attract to our town."
Listen back to RoxFM's interview with Cyrus Weir below:
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