Teachers threaten NAPLAN ban over pay delay
TICKED-off teachers are threatening a permanent boycott of NAPLAN testing unless the Palaszczuk Government pays their 2.5 per cent wage rise on July 1.
Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates blasted the government's "morally wrong'' decision to postpone a promised pay rise for 18 months.
"That is $100 million out of the pockets of teachers and principals who did amazing work during the COVID-19 crisis to support students and parents under very difficult circumstances,'' Mr Bates told The Courier-Mail. "A deal is a deal.''
Mr Bates said teachers could permanently boycott NAPLAN (the national assessment program for literacy and numeracy), which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
"We'd get rid of NAPLAN,'' he said.
"We have seen with no NAPLAN this year, the relief for teachers and principals around pressure and work.''
Mr Bates said teachers would consider a strike next term, but were wary of losing $3 million if the government docked their pay during the strike.
"A strike is one of the prospects we are putting to members, but teachers would prefer to deal with a workload reduction strategy,'' he said.
Mr Bates said teachers would not take any action that would affect students, such as a ban on marking homework or assignments.
But the 48,000 state school teachers could defy "useless information requests'' from Education Queensland.
"We're saying to teachers, just ignore the emails,'' he said.
"We will put a ban on requests for information that can be accessed by departmental officers using their existing system of computers.
"And school annual reports are a ridiculous process for schools, when bureaucrats in the central office can produce those reports for schools.''
Mr Bates said teachers were angry about the pay rise deferral as they had worked hard during COVID-19 lockdowns, preparing lessons for learning at home.
"Many teachers worked right through the Easter holidays to be ready for the first day of remote learning,'' he said.
"That had a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of their families - the holidays that were meant for rest and recharge, they spent working.''
The State Government has postponed pre-agreed pay rises to most public servants this year for 18 months, citing the need for cost-cutting and job security.
Industrial Relations and Education Minister Grace Grace yesterday said NAPLAN was already under review.
"Queensland led the way to cancel NAPLAN for 2020 and we have undertaken a review alongside Victoria, NSW and ACT to see how we can improve it for everyone,'' she said.
"Whether the QTU chooses to ballot their members or not is a matter for them, however school communities have already been disrupted through these unprecedented times.''
Originally published as Teachers threaten NAPLAN ban over pay delay