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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3257


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (13:55): David Gonski released last month Through growth to achievement. This is a somewhat utopian vision for the Australian education system and nothing new that we haven't heard before. These are great ideas from the rest of the world, but, in reality, students cannot achieve their potential if we have a workplace system where teachers cannot achieve theirs. So last week I took on the vested interests. I took on the unions and the education departments, and I said, quite simply, 'Pay teachers for every hour they do.'

Don't listen to this mob here, which is complicit with the perpetrators of an injustice and a crime against the teaching profession, who are not being paid for the hours they do. Teachers deserve overtime like the rest of the Public Service. They deserve to have the 41-week term decluttered. They deserve to have unessential teacher roles given to other professions, and they deserve a promotional structure that pays them on merit, that pays them on postgraduate education and not in ridiculous increments that end at the age of 29.

Enough of treating teachers like a trade. They are a profession. But first we need to save their mental health. They've got to go home, switch off, be present with their loved ones and enjoy their profession—not because they're doing 55 hours a week and half of that unpaid. It's like stealing grapes from a fruit shop. When a teacher in my electorate was paid with a KitKat for doing an evening of parent-teacher interviews, I'd had a gutful, and I'm going to stand up for teachers if this mob won't. I'll stand up for teachers if unions won't. Teaching is not a trade; it's a profession, and you've got to pay them like they're one first. (Time expired)