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Australia's New South Wales teachers threaten 24-hour strike over pay dispute

11-02-2011 14:38 BJT

SYDNEY, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Australian New South Wales (NSW) public school teachers will go on strike for 24 hours at the end of November unless the state government provides a fair and reasonable offer on salaries, the NSW Teachers Federation said on Wednesday.

Over 70,000 NSW public school teachers walked off the job for two hours on Wednesday morning, with more than 10,000 of them joining stop-work meetings at 280 venues.

Bob Lipscombe, the President of NSW Teachers Federation, said thousands of teachers across NSW on Wednesday morning rejected the state government's proposed cut to the real incomes of teachers in NSW public schools.

Lipscombe said teachers have demanded the government to make a fair and reasonable offer on salaries and negotiate in good faith.

"Should the government not be prepared to act in good faith and should it not be prepared to negotiate a fair and reasonable salaries settlement, teachers at the meeting today (Wednesday) have called on Federation to call a 24 hour stopwork on 29 November," Lipscombe said in a statement on Wednesday.

"If these meetings proceed, they will consider further industrial action at the beginning of the 2012 school and college year."

According to the NSW Teachers Federation, 99 percent of teachers have rejected the government's 2.5 percent wage offer.

"The government can make changes to its policy. It can make changes to the law," he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli criticized the teachers for threatening another 24-hour strike, saying the action would be at the expense of students.

"They disrupted schools today. It will be a disruption on the 29th," he told Australia's Macquarie Radio on Wednesday.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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