Thursday, June 14, 2007

Education Rallies Successful

Two and a half thousand teachers, parents and students crowded on to the steps of Parliament House yesterday to oppose the State Labor Government’s latest cuts to public education.

AEU President Andrew Gohl compared the huge reductions in payroll tax – demanded by big business – with what the government was taking away from schools, and declared that Labor Premier Rann had forfeited the right to be called the “Education Premier”.

Similar rallies were held in regional centres throughout the State. Two hundred rallied in Port Lincoln. A similar number, representing some 30 Riverland schools, rallied in Berri. There were large turnouts in other centres as well.

Despite the Parliament House rally being large enough to block eastbound traffic along North Terrace, it was completely ignored by the Murdoch-owned sole local daily, the aptly-named Advertiser.

Gohl told the crowd that Education Department bureaucrats had said that there was to be no negotiation over the cuts when they met with Principal organizations, yet the Minister had only just stated on radio that “the matter hadn’t been decided” and the WorkCover issue – the major source of the cuts – “is yet to be resolved”.

He said this was testimony to the pressure already applied by the decision to hold an after-hours rally, but that if the matter was not properly resolved in the next week or so, teachers would be balloted for a strike.

(The main rally in Adelaide, above, and below, in the Riverland town of Berri)

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