Page 4090 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 23 October 2018

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MS BERRY: As I said, in my first meeting with the Australian Education Union, whom I am working very closely with—I know that that is not something that the Canberra Liberals can come to terms with: actually working with a union to achieve an outcome for workers in this town and I am doing that—the first thing that I did was to instruct the Education Directorate to take action—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MS BERRY: and make addressing occupational violence—

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MS BERRY: Will you please stop interrupting me. This is a very serious issue and your sniping from across the side is not helpful.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MS BERRY: That was not the question that was asked. The question—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS BERRY: You are continuing to carry on. This is a very important issue: making sure that people can come home safely from work. The ACT is the only state or territory that is taking on this very difficult issue, by implementing a policy and a plan to address occupational violence in our schools.

Mr Hanson: That’s ridiculous.

MS BERRY: Yes, it is ridiculous to have workers safe at work. It is ridiculous—from the Canberra Liberals. That is because you cannot bear the thought that workers will join their union and be represented by their union to ensure that they are safe at work. We want to make sure that teachers can do what they are passionate about in an inclusive school environment where every child, regardless of how they learn, gets support from the teaching profession and the teaching profession gets support from their employer, as they deserve, which they are getting.

Education—occupational violence

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development regarding attacks on teachers. Reportedly, the only support offered to a teacher who had been subjected to student bite attacks for six months was the application of compression bandages, which in any event did not prevent injury. Why does the directorate not have policies and practices in place that support and protect teachers?

MS BERRY: The member clearly was not listening to my previous response. I will say it again: in my first meeting with the Education Union I was informed that this was a very important issue for them.

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