On April 1 more than 25,000 essential school staff, parents, children and community members gathered across the state to protest against the Barnett government’s massive cuts to education.
More than $180 million has been slashed from the state education budget meaning schools and children have lost essential staff and access to specialist programs.
Union members from United Voice, the SSTUWA and the CPSU/CSA marched from Langley Park up St George’s Terrace to Parliament House, where they stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with thousands of parents and students to stand up for childrens right to a quality education.
Hear what United Voice Education Members had to say:
Why did you decide to attend the Community Day of Action?
“Because we think what Barnett is doing with the budget cuts to schools is ridiculous. We are trying to give our kids the best education and we are missing out on programs.
We’re having to buy supplies out of our own pocket because we can’t afford it, because of what he’s done. We work with ed support kids; they’re the ones who really need it and we’re struggling to give them the best education,” Bronwyn, EA.
“I came to try and get a message across, with all these people, to Mr Barnett on what he’s doing. It’s just with all this funding he’s cutting he doesn’t understand the impact this has in the classroom,” Robyn, EA.
How important is a quality education?
“It’s everything. It’s our future parents, it’s our future employees, employers, the whole lot. It’s just if they don’t have that (a quality education) where do they go?” Jen, EA
If you could say anything to Mr Barnett about these education cuts what would you say?
“The children are not responsible for his fiscal mismanagement. They should not be punished for it,” Trish, EA.
“Have a real big think about what you’re doing. It’s not the right thing to do,” Yvonne, EA.
“Give the money back. Think of the future and stop the cuts now,” Jen, EA.
Rally attendees vowed to keep the pressure on the Barnett Government, and it’s new Treasurer Mike Nahan, in the lead up to the May State Budget. The Budget is the best time to put the money back into schools, and for Mr Barnett and Mr Nahan to fix their own mess.
See over 350 photos from the event on the Putting Our Kids First Facebook page
Or watch coverage of the event: