Read the report 'Teachers at breaking point' commissioned by the AEU
Read 'Teachers at breaking point', commissioned by the AEU ahead of enterprise bargaining negotiations.
Fix the Crisis
Fix the Crisis
Public education is at crisis point and your kids are missing out.
The teacher shortage is at crisis point, and kids are missing out.
Public education is at crisis point and your kids are missing out.
To campaign with strength, we need the real life stories of our educators.

Are you an educator with a story to tell? We want to hear from you ➡️
Are you an educator with a story to tell? We want to hear from you ⤵️
The AEU is campaigning for working conditions which ensure every child gets the support they need.

Stand with public educators and help us bargain for a better future. ⤵️
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I am:
Stories from our public educators:
Stress, fatigue, lack of self-worth, burnout, unsustainable demands and top-down leadership is what my day to day life looks like as an educator. Workload is completely out of control and no one is listening. A change of profession is quietly on the cards where stress is not consuming my being!

- Cathy, Teacher
As classes are currently at full capacity in the school I teach, fitting more into the same time effectively is beyond a challenge. Students and family needs are becoming more complex beyond a trained teachers expertise, there is a greater need for counselling for both students, families and the teachers dealing with these complex situations for the student to be in a learning mindset.

- Dianne, Science Teacher
How much more of an unsupportive attitude can the Education Department provide for educators who are entering unknown work sites to support children daily? There is only so much support I can provide myself in regard to my mental health.

- Elizabeth, Relief Teacher
The entire system needs to change if they’re wanting to retain teachers. For a teacher who has been in the system for approximately 10 years & excellent at what I do - I’m on the edge!

- Ros, Teacher
The collection of data for no visible result and the shortage of SSOs in the class room to help with the ever increasing complexities of student needs stops me from giving time equally to ALL students, each and every lesson. Class sizes need to be smaller and more help is needed in each class.

- Chris, Teacher
I've gone part time this year to help with work/life balance, however I feel my workload hasn't decreased.

- Hannah, Secondary Teacher
Imagine not having to take work home with you every day. Imagine having a work life balance where your family didn't suffer because the job has simply become so big that you are unable to do what you set out to do all those years ago when you signed up for the job.

- Nyssa, Middle School Teacher
It's really affected my family life. I'm more stressed, more time-poor and less mentally-well. This impacts the amount of time that I get to spend with my family and the quality of the work that I deliver. As someone who prides themselves on being an educator, not having the time to do the job with the respect it deserves really drains on my mental health. This is turn, affects my relationships inside and outside of school.

-Jess, Secondary Teacher
Teachers aren't able to just teach anymore. It's copious amounts of other duties and administrative tasks that take over my core role resulting in frustration and burnout. Less administration and smaller class sizes would bring me back to teaching.

- Laura, Primary Teacher
The teacher shortage has meant that some classes have had many different teachers relieving due to absences. The students do not have a relationship with some of the relieving teachers and due to lack of consistency it has affected class behaviour and learning. It is not fair to students, teachers and classroom support SSOs. As an SSO, I have had to step in and 'teach' at times.

- Jenny, SSO
Permanently on a 100% full load has limited my ability to personalise lessons to student interests. If I require a relief teacher to cover my lessons, I know they will likely be worn-out and unable to fully support or engage my classroom. I have resisted taking days off when I should have in order to better support students even though I am not feeling 100%.

David, Secondary Teacher
Due to a lack of TRTs I have had professional development cancelled and postponed as my school can't afford to have me away due to under staffing. As a full time employee the overloading seems to be more significant compared to part timers. I believe my site has done a terrific job managing all the shortages and believe the problem lies with the Department/Government.

- Leigh, Teacher
I didn’t get mentoring for my first year. I felt like I was drowning. But I didn’t feel I could take a day off to go to professional development - I knew my school wouldn’t be able to get a relief teacher.

- Chloe, Teacher
I have missed my non-contact time. I can not work at my best. Staff are unwell. There is a lack of outside agencies to help me navigate the complex social emotional learning and behavioural needs of my students. Some support staff have been seconded to help fill vacancies. Classes are split when staff are away and no learning takes place. It makes me sad to be in a profession that is so degraded.

- Merridy, Country Teacher
Demands on teachers, spills over to demands on ECWs whose untiring work and willingness to step in wherever needed is becoming more frequent. ECW’s are taking on the work load and role of teachers when relief staff are unavailable and even when they are, they sometimes can be the most consistent staff member on site and feel the need to take the lead. They do this because they are skilled and because they care for children and their development. Unfortunately this isn’t reflected in their pay, or recognised by the system.

- Fiona, Preschool Director
I'm pivoting at a minute's notice, neglecting some tasks because we don't have enough staff, constantly modifying tasks, students are missing out on important parts of their education, we are worried, overworked, tired and stressed out. This affects the children who are constantly worried and anxious in an unstable environment.

- Linda, SSO
Unfortunately due to the teacher shortage my site has had to make a number of compromises. There have been classes cut, as there were no skilled teachers to teach them which means that some students are not able to pursue subjects that interest them and can help them further themselves in a particular pathway. The teacher shortage crisis has created unsustainable workloads, and has exacerbated the already toxic culture of "pushing through" when teachers are not feeling 100%, because they know that to take a day off work means tha tcolleagues will be picking up the slack and ultimately both students and teachers will feel the negative effects.

- Laura, Teacher
Being in the country we have been unable to attract teachers to fill in positions. For example we have two staff members leave to go on maternity leave, despite advertising their positions as contract we attracted no applicants for both positions. We have had to become flexible and creative to ensure our students get to do their specialist subjects. If we can not get teachers, our parents will send their child outside of the local area to private schools, which means for us we lose enrolments and this then has a negative flow on affect for us.

- Kathleen, Teacher
Being in the classroom itself has become more and more complex over recent years. What I can't manage is the amount of additional work which is being thrust upon teachers to PROVE that they are good at their job. I am 33 years old, energetic and a motivated teacher and I LOVE teaching, but I am going to leave this profession because my health and family come first. If the department doesn't make some big changes, there are a lot more of the brink.

- Ryan, Teacher
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Why join the AEU?

It makes sense for all educators to be part of one large democratic union advocating for their interests.

In recent years AEU members have successfully campaigned for improvements in wages, conditions and curriculum entitlements. AEU staff have a detailed knowledge of the education system and are well placed to give advice and information quickly and efficiently.

Members benefit from a number of industrial and legal services including advocacy and advisory services, support obtaining permanency, training and professional development, workplace information, funding assistance and workplace visits.

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