Teachers may join strike

THE NSW Education Department is trying to stop teachers from joining other public sector workers in a 24-hour strike to be held on Thursday to protest against new industrial laws.

The strike targets new state laws which limit public sector pay increases to 2.5% a year for the next four years.

According to the NSW Teachers Federation that equates to a pay cut in real terms.

However Unions NSW has been called before the state's industrial watchdog in an attempt by the education department to foil the action.

Expressing concern about the effect of the strike on parents, Justice Francis Marks queried whether the industrial action could be held on a Sunday, before adjourning the hearing until 9.30am today.

He called on a representative from Unions NSW to attend the hearing, to give details of Thursday's protest.

Both the government and the NSW Teachers Federation declined to comment about the ongoing IRC hearings.

Teacher's Federation deputy president Gary Zadkovich described the new law as "unjust" and said it removed teachers' rights to an independent hearing on salaries and working conditions in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).

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