Education and Training Minister Mark McGowan has confirmed that the Twomey report on the State’s teaching workforce would be released once it had been fully considered by the Government.
“I commissioned the report last year to develop a long term blueprint for the education and training workforce, and in both the Government and non-Government sectors,” he said.
“Contrary to the wilful misrepresentation by the State School Teachers Union (SSTU) and the Opposition, it was not intended to frame the current Government school teachers’ enterprise agreement, and anyone reading the terms of reference will see that.
“In fact, the Government made its two EBA offers to the SSTU prior to the Twomey report being finalised.
“It is a complex report that traverses Commonwealth and State issues and multiple State agencies. It deserves detailed consideration and a full response by Government.”
Mr McGowan said he was acutely aware that Government school teachers needed to be better paid.
“That is why the Government made a pay offer that would have ensured our teachers were the best paid of all States,” he said.
“But we have an equal obligation to be financially responsible and not accede to every demand made by the State School Teachers Union, which at last count would cost more than $1.4billion.”
The Minister said after several months of negotiating with the SSTU over a log of claims that included a 24 per cent across the board pay rise, reduced teaching time and smaller class sizes, the Government had sought to refer the matter to the Industrial Relations Commission to resolve.
“Negotiation is a two way street, and it requires both parties to be sufficiently flexible to reach an agreement.
“The matter is now in the hands of the independent umpire and I can’t understand why the SSTU would fear that process if they believed their log of claims was reasonable.”
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TWOMEY TASKFORCE - TERMS OF REFERENCE
· provide advice to the Minister regarding current and future workforce supply and demand;
· review the State’s capacity to meet its educational needs with a focus on:
o current and future workforce needs;
o alternative delivery strategies; and
o the capacity to respond rapidly to teacher shortages;
· provide advice to the Minister about student teacher practice placement for all educational sectors and locations;
· consider the standing of the teaching profession with a view to providing strategies for raising the status of teaching; and
· generate a framework to inform future workforce planning for all educational sectors.