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Articles from Western Teacher

13 September 2023
As a primary school leader for most of my career in country and metropolitan schools, I am often asked about the key lessons I have learned about leadership and how it applies to my current role.
8 August 2023
Safety in schools has become a priority community concern. Members cite safety as the second most significant reason to leave the profession, after workload. Schools are often just a place where the violence manifests, not necessarily the root cause.
19 June 2023
The following is a transcript of SSTUWA President Matt Jarman’s opening speech to June State Council Conference on 9 June 2023.
18 May 2023
The latest area where teachers and school leaders should apparently take control over student behaviour is vaping. Vaping is rivalling artificial intelligence as the social panic hot topic. Whenever there is a crisis, it must be teachers who take action, apparently.
3 April 2023
The latest results from the annual Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Well-being Survey are of great concern and highlight the strain school leaders are under as they struggle to manage the ever-increasing workloads, demands and expectations of their jobs.
28 February 2023
One of the core reasons for establishing a review into the public education system (led by former WA Premier and one-time federal education minister Dr Carmen Lawrence) was to encourage community debate about public education.
22 January 2023
Welcome to 2023 – a year of immense challenges for the State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia and of great opportunity for public education. In this, the SSTUWA’s 125th anniversary year, it is an incredible honour to succeed Pat Byrne as president of the SSTUWA; though I will admit it is also a little disconcerting to follow such an inspiring and dedicated servant to public educators and public education.
22 January 2023
The State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia welcomed the announcement of a new Education Minister in December’s cabinet reshuffle, with the division into separate ministerial portfolios of early childhood education and training suggesting the state government is giving education a higher priority.
22 January 2023
The state government’s desperate plans to fix the state’s teacher shortage will not address the underlying issues in the public education system, according to the SSTUWA. The union said the government’s plan to send under qualified teachers into short- staffed schools (announced late last year) was a short-sighted move which had the potential to cause more harm than good.
25 November 2022
Normally we don’t make specific recommendations about voting to our members. The State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia is a diverse organisation. Our members are intelligent and make their own decisions.
17 November 2022
We are at the end of yet another year which brought far more turmoil than we could have ever expected. We thought that we’d seen the worst of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 and that we were pretty well prepared - vaccinations mostly done – for the beginning of the year. That bubble burst in Week 1 of Term 1. The turmoil hasn’t been confined to COVID-19 or to Australia. We look around and see democracy in a fragile state in many parts of the world. This week’s mid-term US elections saw several candidates saying openly, even before polling day that they would refuse to accept a result which didn’t go their way; statements based not on legitimate concerns about a faulty voting system but on a simple refusal to respect the outcome of a democratic process.
6 November 2022
Western Australia is facing a deepening crisis around Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH), with teachers saying the appalling state of the system is driving many away from the regions and putting others off moving to work in the country
1 October 2022
Teachers know best on what is happening in schools right now. Consider this quote, which comes from one of over 400 school leaders and union reps who completed our survey Managing Teacher Relief in WA Public Schools: “Teacher burnout is very real, resulting from the continuous system-wide demands that assume we are working under normal conditions.'' With rolling waves of staff members having to isolate the reality of the situation is that we are exhausted just managing to keep the core teaching and learning operating. Add to that NAPLAN, the running of events, reporting to parents, performance management, SEN reporting, NCCR reporting etc. and you have a perfect storm for mental and emotional burn-out.
1 August 2022
As an affiliate of UnionsWA, the SSTUWA has long known that strength lies in unity; the multiplier that applies when unions work together towards common goals.
1 June 2022
On Friday 17 June, member voting closed on the Agreement in Principle for the 2021 General Agreement (Schools). Just over 5,000 members voted with 70 per cent of those voting in favour.
1 May 2022
With Labor forming government, public education has been handed a reprieve from what may well have been an existential threat to the entire system.
1 February 2022
The management of COVID-19 with the ever-changing advice and the daily impact on schools and TAFEs threatens to overwhelm every other aspect of our working days.
1 January 2022
The announcement from the government of a new public sector wages policy is a positive step: the $1,000 salary cap has been given the boot and replaced by 2.5 per cent across the board. This is a welcome return to a percentage-based increase for SSTUWA members.
1 August 2021
Western Australia’s economy is handling the impacts of COVID-19 better than anyone anticipated, and we’re expecting a multi-billion dollar surplus in the next budget. But at the same time that our economy is booming, education funding per child is falling and teachers’ wages are stagnant.
1 June 2021
In many ways 2021 has continued the pattern of uncertainty, anxiety and loss that we saw in 2020.

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