NSW Teachers Federation members at Wingham Public School and Port Macquarie's Westport Public School walked off the job on Wednesday (May 19) calling on the NSW government to properly staff their schools and other public schools in rural and remote parts of the state.
NSW Teachers Federation deputy president Henry Rajendra said staff at both Mid North Coast schools are concerned about the impact the staffing crisis is having on teaching and learning.
The action is part of a wider campaign by public schools across the state.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams met with a number of staff to hear their concerns.
Mr Rajendra said the recent Gallop Report showed the recruitment and retention of teachers will require a significant increase in salaries.
"Teachers at Wingham Public School are concerned about the shortage of casual staff to cover for colleagues on leave at their own school and many others across the state. They are also being forced to cope with students in need without access to a school counsellor," Mr Rajendra said.
"At Wingham this has mean that when no casuals are available, classes without a teacher for the day are being split up and sent to other classrooms."
Mr Rajendra said staff at Westport Public School have also been forced to take additional students into their classrooms when casual teachers are unavailable.
"Failure to properly staff schools across the state is impacting on curriculum delivery and presenting unacceptable work, health and safety issues for staff."
Mrs Williams said she valued the opportunity to talk through some of the recommendations in the Gallop Report with teaching staff.
"At the meeting we discussed a number of the 12 recommended changes proposed by the Panel in the Gallop Report Valuing the Teaching Profession including professional development, teacher salaries, school funding and availability of casual staff," Mrs Williams said.
"I am a strong supporter of public education and understand that finding the right balance means working together - teachers, the school community and the government - to get the best outcomes for our students."
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