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BY LOGAN FEWSTER 

In September, Melbourne witnessed the biggest teachers strike in Victorian history as thousands of protestors packed into Rod Laver Arena to protest against the Baillieu government, forcing over 350 school closures.

The ongoing dispute has reached fever pitch as teachers across Victoria have collectively rejected the Ballieu government’s proposed performance pay model and a 2.5 percent pay increase deemed far short of the 10 per cent promised.

Strikers, who included professionals from all levels of the education sector, then marched to parliament house calling on Ted Baillieu to honour his pre election promise that he would make Victorian teachers the highest paid in Australia.

AEU president Mary Bluett addressed the packed out stadium, all decked out in red clothing, and explained that over 35,000 education professionals had joined the strike.
“By the strong support of teachers and support staff across the state we will hold Mr Baillieu accountable” she told the protestors.

It was then a sea of red as the protestors marched from Rod Laver Arena and converged on parliament house waving banners and yelling anti-government chant like “Baillieu, Baillieu he is going to fail you”.

Simon Pocervina, a teacher at Laverton College in Melboune’s west, described the strike and the march on parliament’s steps as imperative to the future of education in Victoria.

“Education and the quality of teachers in this state isn’t going to improve with performance based incentives, we’re teachers because we love it, pushing us to our limits for more money that’s already not worth it seems backwards’ he said

Cassie McCauley a primary school teacher in Melbourne’s east echoed her peer’s statement and explained that the thousands of protesters felt completely united.

“With the support of the teaching community and the public we are going to make things right in this state, and give our children the best education possible” She said

Those gathered at Rod Laver Arena voted to continue the campaign against the Bailliue government, with further strikes to come.