Almost 170 schools across South Australia are closed today as teachers strike for better pay and working conditions.
The teachers union is protesting outside Parliament House in Adelaide after a breakdown in negotiations with the SA Government.
On top of the 167 closures, more than 150 schools are operating at a significantly reduced capacity.
The union has called an offer of a 3% pay rise “insulting”.
Why are South Australia’s teachers on strike?
The SA Government and the SA branch of the Australian Education Union are currently negotiating a new enterprise agreement. An enterprise agreement outlines fair pay and conditions for teachers.
The union says it wants to secure a ‘real’ pay rise (above the rate of inflation) and ensure additional measures to reduce teachers’ workloads.
After the government offered a pay rise below inflation earlier this month, the union held a statewide vote, with 80% of its members supporting strike action.
Speaking on Adelaide radio this week, SA Premier Peter Malinauskas expressed disappointment over the strikes. Malinauskas said he wanted to focus on returning to negotiations with the union.
The Premier acknowledged the pressures that teachers were facing, but said the union was failing to negotiate with a sense of practicality. This included their calls for a wage rise, which Malinauskas said would be worth “billions”.