Teachers told to use up their leave

He said the Government told nearly 1000 teachers days before the last term ended to use all accrued long service leave in 2014.

Mr Tallentire said this would hurt staff at Southern River College, where he served on the council.

He asked Education Minister Peter Collier why the deadline could not be 2015, considering extra pressure schools faced this year.

He said staff planning for 2014 was already done, the school’s 2014 budget had been cut by more than $78,000 and it was preparing for a huge influx of Year 7s.

Mr Tallentire said forcing leave in these circumstances made a mockery of the independent public school concept and was a Treasury-enforced edict to ‘bandage the wound’ left by WA’s loss of a AAA credit rating.

Mr Collier said that with more than 44,000 staff in WA, the Education Department had to manage leave liability carefully.

‘Total growth in leave liabilities has had a negative impact on the Education Department’s budget,’ he said.

‘Leave liability at the end of June was $824 million and, if nothing was done, would have increased by $62 million in 2014.’

‘Southern River College is currently working through a plan to address staff leave liability.

‘Leave management plans will be considered in the context of the school’s overall requirements to make sure that students are not adversely impacted.’

He said long service leave liabilities had nothing to do with the Independent Public Schools (IPS) initiative and every principal received the same instructions.