29 August 2022 


Media alert for: PORT MACQUARIE – Tuesday 30 August 

The Independent Education Union’s mobile billboard truck has taken to NSW’s streets for two weeks. While its big digital screens bear several messages, there are two key issues: Fix teacher shortages now! Pay support staff properly! 

We invite media to view the truck on Tuesday 30 August and talk with the teachers it represents:  

  • 10.45am to 11.45am: Mackillop College, Ocean Drive, Port Macquarie  
  • 1.35pm to 2.15pm: St Joseph’s Regional College, College Drive, Port Macquarie  

The truck has a packed itinerary. In this, its second week, the truck heads north to the central coast, Newcastle and Port Macquarie then inland to Armidale and Tamworth and back south to Singleton and Maitland. The first week included the Illawarra region and Nowra, Goulburn and Queanbeyan, Bathurst and Lithgow, and several Sydney’s suburbs as well as the city itself. 

“The IEU is seeking the support of the public, politicians and parents of students in Catholic systemic schools in particular to back the union in striving to have the teacher shortages taken seriously,” said IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam. “We’re taking it to communities throughout NSW. Teacher shortages impact everyone, from the teachers themselves and their students, right through to pre-schoolers and their parents.” 

The IEU represents 33,000 teachers, support staff and principals in non-government schools in NSW and the ACT as well as degree-qualified teachers in the early childhood sector. 

“We’re seeking a range of straightforward solutions,” Northam said. “Fair salaries for teachers; pay parity for support staff with their counterparts in government schools; adequate planning time; a reduced administrative load; and practical strategies to end the disastrous staff shortages afflicting all schools – government and non-government – as well as the early childhood sector. 

“The IEU recently spoken up at the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Teacher Shortages, at Federal Education Minister Jason Clare’s Teacher Workforce Roundtable, and at a meeting with Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly about teacher shortages in her sector,” Northam said.  

“As the truck makes its way around the state, delegations of IEU members will also be visiting NSW politicians and writing to them with a clear request: fix this crisis in education.” 

IEU President Christine Wilkinson said: “Teacher shortages are having a detrimental impact on our members’ health and wellbeing. Ever-increasing workloads, supervision of multiple classes (with attendant duty of care concerns), and too little planning time are causing new levels of stress. Prompt action must be taken. It is time our voices were heard.” 

This is about the future of education. “We welcome meetings with employers and politicians,” Northam said. “Let’s sit down and fix these issues together.” 


Mark Northam, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch, 0427 667 061 

Media: Monica Crouch 0411 645 751 monica@ieu.asn.au 

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch represents over 33,000 teachers, principals and support staff in Catholic and independent schools, early childhood centres and post-secondary colleges. 

Authorised by Mark Northam, Secretary, IEUA NSW/ACT Branch