Education Minister Kay Hallahan today announced a series of sweeping initiatives for teachers in Western Australia's 760 Government schools.
The 12 initiatives span everything from special $10,000 scholarships and sabbatical leave to leadership training and incentives for country service.
Launching the package at a staff meeting at Mount Lawley Senior High School today, Mrs Hallahan said teachers faced a stark choice at the next State election.
"Teachers have to decide between a Labor Government which is progressively improving their conditions or a Liberal/National coalition which will practise the same slash-and-burn techniques as their Victorian counterparts," she said.
Today's announcement coincided with news that a record number of teachers will be employed in WA Government schools next year.
Mrs Hallahan said an extra 515 teaching staff would be employed for the start of the 1993 school year. The employment boost - which includes an extra 176 teaching staff for the voluntary full-time pre-primary program - would take Western Australia's total teaching staff to 17,000.
The Minister said the new initiatives reflected the Government's commitment to improving the quality of teaching in Government schools throughout the State.
"Giving teachers more flexibility, more recognition, better job security, more training opportunities and options for 'refresher' breaks were vital for the teaching profession to attract and retain top quality staff," she said.
Mrs Hallahan said the package was developed in consultation with the State School Teachers Union.
Included in the initiatives for 1993 were:
· resolution of negotiations for a single industrial award for teachers;
· introduction of $10,000 scholarships for outstanding classroom teachers. These would be awarded for projects including study, classroom-based research, travel and industry placement;
· the establishment of a quality teaching council to advise the Minister for Education on teacher education, in-service training and standards for professional competence;
· the appointment of a career development consultant to help teachers further their career and improve access to new training programs;
· a special research project to examine issues relating to promotions for women;
· introduction of sabbatical leave for classroom teachers to undertake a year's professional development experience;
· establishment of a new 'points transfer' system to recognise teachers who have served in the State's remote and demanding schools;
· establishment of a remote teaching service with special conditions and salary structure to recognise the difficult conditions faced by teachers in remote parts of the State;
· continued recognition of experienced classroom teachers with more promotions to senior teacher and key teacher positions;
· offering more than 500 temporary teachers permanent appointments;
· an intrastate exchange scheme to allow teachers to swap with another colleague in a Western Australian school for up to a year; and
· introduction of job sharing to provide more opportunities for part-time work.