No easy fix to teachers' problems - AUT lecturer Dr Leon Benade

A teaching expert says there will be no quick fixes to the current problems faced by the profession as primary teachers strike for the first time in 24 years.

Around 29,000 educators are walking off the job on Wednesday, citing poor pay and working conditions as the reason for the strike.

The Government has offered a pay rise ranging from a 6.1 percent increase for the top of the pay scale, which would bring the maximum teacher's salary to about $80,600, to a 14.7 percent increase to the entry salary, bringing it to $55,030.

But teachers have asked for a 16 percent increase over two years, alongside extra learning support and more time for teaching.

AUT university teaching lecturer Dr Leon Benade told The AM Show it will take several years to correct the issues and it will be a long time before there are enough teachers in the job market.

"It takes several years just to get teachers qualified so you just think about that," he said.

"Even though there are schemes to try and turn around teachers much faster than that, you know the fact is it's not an easy fix and it's not a quick fix."

Dr Benade said a lot of the problems in teaching come down to a lack of respect for the profession and he's not surprised young people are avoiding it.

"Why would a young generation of people enter teaching if they know that the hours are long and hard, there's all sorts of challenges to be faced on a day to day basis and the pay's not great," he said.

As for whether things are going to get better, Dr Benade says the current situation is testing his optimistic nature.

"I'm an optimistic person," he said. "I'm always positive and optimistic, but deep down I'm really concerned."


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