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Teachers’ strike to face legal challenge

September 4th, 2011 Australia

Teachers' strike to face legal challengeThe New South Wales Government has moved to stop a one-day strike by teachers later this week.

The state’s Education Department plans to challenge the strike today in the Industrial Relations Commission.

The NSW Teachers Federation announced last week that teachers would walk off the job on Thursday over the Government’s wages policy.

Legislation passed earlier this year capped public sector wage increases at 2.5 per cent, unless savings are made first.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says the action would be unnecessary and disruptive.

“I see no justification in industrial action, state-wide industrial action, given that salary negotiations haven’t even begun yet,” Mr Piccoli said.

“So I will leave the IRC to make a ruling on whether it is unlawful or not.”

The union says the wages policy would amount to a pay cut in real terms for teachers, and make recruiting and retaining teachers more difficult.