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Catholic teachers to stop work in some states

While tens of thousands of government school students in Victoria, NSW, and Western Australia are expected to be affected by today's strike, some Catholic teachers are taking related industrial action.

Teachers at about 30 ACT Catholic schools will stop work for the last hour of the working day today.

Meanwhile in Western Australia, Catholic school teachers will start a campaign of work bans, with members of the Independent Schools Salaried Officers Association working in Catholic schools adopting work-to-rule policies which will cancel any before or after-school activities. They are seeking a 30% pay rise over three years and a range of improved work conditions and have been offered 3% annually.

In Victoria, Catholic school teachers at 500 schools, whose pay is linked to public school teacher rates, will hold stop work meetings today to support the industrial campaign the is causing the widespread strike action in the state system.

Tens of thousands of public school students in Victoria, NSW, and Western Australia are expected to be affected by today's strike.

Hundreds of schools in NSW and Victoria will be partly or completely shut down for the day, and teachers in Western Australia will hold a half-day stoppage.

Employer groups have predicted the strike will significantly disrupt workplaces, with many parents forced to take a day's annual leave to care for their children. A minority of parents was expected to call in sick, or take their children to work with them.

Teachers' unions said the strike could have been averted if the NSW, Victorian, and West Australian treasurers had agreed to meet union leaders to discuss how to manage what they said was a looming national teachers shortage.

The state governments have denied there is any such shortage.

Daily Telegraph
The West Australian
The Australian

Catholic teachers threaten stopwork (15/9/03)
Christopher Bantick: Teachers strike a chord (The Australian)
Some public schools to stay open (The Age)
Strike puts parents to the test

17 Sep 2003