PETER De Waard is a passionate Xavier Catholic College teacher.

The senior educator, with 36 years of experience, spends about one day every weekend preparing lessons he will teach his grade four class in the following working week.

But he said take home work was the harsh reality of the job.

"There's no written rule to taking work home, but it's just what you have to do," he said.

The committed teacher even chose to mark student tests and work, be it unofficially, while on strike this morning.

WE WANT FAIR: Xavier Catholic College grade four teacher Peter De Waard leads the call for better conditions and respect. Photo Hannah Baker / Fraser Coast Chronicle
WE WANT FAIR: Xavier Catholic College grade four teacher Peter De Waard leads the call for better conditions and respect. Photo Hannah Baker / Fraser Coast Chronicle Hannah Baker

"But if I don't do the marking now, it will just mean I will have to take it home to do," he said.

"Anyone who gets into teaching only does it because they are committed to children's progress and for no other reason."

While the senior teacher loves his job, he now wants more respect from the school's employment body, Brisbane Catholic Education.

The body is one of 22 Catholic education employment authorities across Queensland which the Independent Education Union - Queensland and Northern Territory branch organised to take protection action against on Thursday morning.

Peter said it came down to the three R's - Recognise, Respect and Reward.

"The nature of teaching has changed throughout the years," he said.

"We now have the added factors of NAPLAN and the National Curriculum, amongst others."

About 50 staff at the school took part in the strike between 8.30am and 10.30am Thursday morning, but Peter said more would have joined in had they been able to leave their classrooms.

Many of the school's Year 12 teachers decided to not take part in the strike because of the end of school exams, Peter said.

"Plus the three prep teachers decided to stay in their classrooms as them leaving would have disrupted the children's day too much."

IEUA-QNT Wide Bay organiser Richard Pascoe said the amount of teacher burn-out he had seen across Queensland was a huge problem.

"Over the past 10 years, expectations from teachers have increased significantly," he said.

"Unfortunately the working conditions haven't changed to allow the teachers to complete those tasks and to avoid that high rate of burnout that we are seeing especially amongst the younger teachers today."

Richard said the amount of planning time allocated to both high school and primary teachers had not changed since 1992 and 2001, respectively, despite the workload increase.

As well as the calls for extra planning time, the IEU-QNT wants step nine senior teacher pay parity with their New South Wales counterparts and four weeks paid annual leave for school officers.

Xavier College laboratory technician Peta Perry, who has been at the school for the past four years, said she felt underpaid by about $10,000 annually compared to her previous salary in the state education system.

While she gets about three weeks a year of paid holidays, she has asked for just one week more.

As a school officer, Peta is employed contractually each school term and is forced to become unemployed each school break.



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