Possibility of South Australian Teacher Strike on First Day of Semester

The majority of South Australian teachers who are members of the Australian Education Union (AEU) have resolved to strike on the first day of the semester due to health and safety concerns of COVID-19.

Almost two-thirds supported industrial activities by stopping all day on Wednesday, February 2, if members of the school and preschool teachers were voted and did not address the safety concerns of COVID-19. AEUSA branch report on Tuesday.

This is because the number of active COVID-19 cases in South Australia is currently 27,991.

The government’s new semester plan expects the children of the most vulnerable students and essential workers to return to school on January 31st. Then, on February 2, preschool and reception, and 1, 7, 8, and 12 years will return, and other levels will begin face-to-face on February 14, after two weeks of online study.

January 31st and February 1st, on the other hand, are additional preparation days for teachers to be briefed and prepared for online education.

“This plan aims to ensure children’s safety while balancing their learning needs,” said Prime Minister Stephen Marshall. Said..

Since the members were voted, the AEU and the Ministry of Education of South Australia (DfE) have asked whether the proposed new semester measures will make the environment safer for staff and students, they are Omicron, and they are all sites. Is it consistent with?

In addition, there is the question of whether measures address well-being and mental health concerns and how they affect workloads.

According to the AEU, some of the concerns have been addressed, but other concerns need further discussion.

“Government and the Ministry are obliged to ensure that all learning spaces are safe for children, students and staff and that all reasonable and viable measures are in place to create a safe learning environment. There is, “the report said.

The AEU has the benefits of full PPE, including N95 masks and face shields in the health sector, but educators will work in classes of up to 29 students and, in some circumstances, will take steps to include N95 masks at best. I was careful. Social distance that is impossible for many. Hand sanitizer; cleaning; and options to open windows or teach outdoors if weather permits.

On Tuesday, AEU executives will review the progress of negotiations with DfE so far.

“If the executive believes that progress has been made, members will be re-voted to postpone action,” the report said.

“Conversely, if the executive is dissatisfied, the action will continue on foot until discussions are added in a timely manner.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Marshall said at a press conference on Tuesday that the government had been listening to experts from day one, and a meeting between SA Supreme Health Officer Nicola Sparia and the AEU on Tuesday afternoon was much in response to the union. I expected it to be useful. concern.

“We are negotiating with respect. The union is thinking of 18 or 19 issues that we wanted to deal with with us,” he said.

“We replied to them at the beginning of the week, they now have that information. I know there are voting results, but of course, long before all issues were resolved. With the voting open, I hope we can make the meeting a success this afternoon and provide everything. The information they need. “

Marshall also said the state government would do everything possible to avoid strikes, and that not all teachers in the state voted for the union’s vote.

“In fact, we’ve been working with the union for days after voting started, and I think they’ll be in a different position if they vote again,” he said.

When asked about the issues that Professor Spurrier needs to address to prevent strikes, Marshall said the main issue was pressure to perform a supervised rapid antigen test.

“In South Australia, there is no medical reason for this,” he said.

“This is supported by the advice we received from the AHPPC (Australia’s Chief Health Commission), so it’s a false reassurance to have a rapid antigen test unless it’s really done in some controlled way. Find out why it might be inspiring and provide that information to the union. “

Steve Milne