ON STRIKE: South Burnett teachers stand up for equal pay and equal rights.
ON STRIKE: South Burnett teachers stand up for equal pay and equal rights. Rhiannon Tuffield

South Burnett teachers strike for equal pay, equal rights

CATHOLIC teachers from around the South Burnett have rallied in Kingaroy for decreased workloads and equitable wages from their employers.

Catholic School union members across the state were authorised to stop work for the day after pay increase negotiations stalled.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School teacher Taylor Parrott said agreements should have been finalised last year.

"It's really insulting that an employer thinks it's okay just to drag it out for this long," Ms Parrott said.

"It shouldn't have to come to this; we shouldn't have to show this sort of action."

Ms Parrott said she and her fellow teachers had sacrificed a lot of their own personal time to receive little support in return.

"To not have that support their when you're busting your gut and putting your soul into the job, it's a slap in the face," she said.

Queensland Catholic teachers are currently paid $7000 a year less than their interstate colleagues.

Increased workloads and technological demands have placed added pressure, with statistics showing teachers have abandoned their careers in the first five years on the job.

St Mary's Catholic College secondary school teacher Ronald Johnston's main issue was making sure his income was adequate as he approached retirement.

The 58-year-old, who has been a teacher for the past 20 years, said the job became more physically draining as a teacher aged.

"I really don't know why employers aren't keeping up with the national standards and the normal pay rises that other people get," Mr Johnston said.

"At this stage, I'll have to work right up until retirement age and I don't want to do that because of the physical tolls the job has on you."

Ms Parrott and her colleague, Megan Housden, both said they weren't asking for anything unreasonable but to be equivalent to everyone else.

"It just feels like we haven't been given a fair go for the amount of work we do before we even get to the teaching," Ms Parrott said.

"They're trying to wear us down but we experience that every day in the classroom and they're going to have to try a lot harder to succeed."

South Burnett

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