Whyalla teachers to strike

Whyalla schools will be among public schools either closed or offering modified education programs next Monday after the state's public school teachers voted to stop work to lobby for improved learning environments for students, and conditions and pay for teachers.

Most public schools will be affected and parents will be notified by Friday which schools will be closed.

Whyalla teachers supporting the strike will gather at the Department of Education office at 115 Nicolson Avenue for a rally on Monday, which kicks off at 11am.

Teachers will then march down to the Westland Shopping Centre.

Edward John Eyre High School, Stuart High School, Memorial Oval Primary School and Long Street Primary School are among the local schools that will either be closed or offering a modified programs on Monday.

The Australian Education Union wants better salaries, improved country school conditions, to ensure all employees are treated fairly at work and to address gender inequality, workloads that are sustainable, more teachers to reduce class sizes and an increased number of secure and safe jobs.

AEU SA Branch president Howard Spreadbury said the action to stop work was not taken lightly by the union.

Mr Spreadbury said many thought the day was just about a pay rise but it was one just one of a seven point plan.

"We believe that our hardworking educators are a valuable asset for the state," he said.

"However, remuneration does provide recognition of the value of the work done and indicates a level of respect for the profession.

"To be a world-class education system in South Australia, we need to offer nationally competitive salaries to all educators working in the public education sector.

"We are already aware that many teaching graduates are being enticed interstate by better offers."

Teachers held a half-day stop work action back in November calling for the same plan and the state government offered to lift wages by 2.35 per cent per year until May 2022.

The AEU said the offer would see SA educators as the lowest paid in Australia during the first year increase.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the offer to increase wages by 2.35 per cent was exceptionally fair and reasonable and called on the state's 28,000 educators to postpone the strike until the school holidays.

"We are disappointed, but perhaps not surprised, that the union bosses from the AEU have got their wish and proceeded down the path of maximum disruption and chaos for parents, grandparents and students in the final week of the term,'' he said.

"They had booked the steps of Parliament House for their protest three weeks ago.

"While we respect their right to industrial action, we have made it quite clear that no amount of chanting, waving placards and singing John Farnham songs is going to make more money magically appear in the budget."