Unions’ latest push into classrooms
A UNION-affiliated flyer was sent home in a Queensland primary student's homework in what's been slammed as an outrageous politicisation of the schoolyard.
The flyer, which went home with a student at Thangool State School in central Queensland, is part of the Australian Education Union's ongoing Fair Funding Now! campaign which trashes the Federal Coalition Government for cutting funding to state schools and spruiks "Labor's $14b extra" for public schools.
The incident has left Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates red-faced after conceding the flyer shouldn't have been distributed that way.
"The reality is there was a mistake made," he said.
"Our standard practice is outside of (school) hours and outside of school."
However, The Sunday Mail has learned corflutes with the same branding have also been tacked to school fences, including at Biloela State School, and one grandparent said they saw flyers being distributed last week by teachers at Dysart State School, from inside the school grounds.
As the QTU is an associated body of the AEU, teachers and principals who are Queensland members are able to hand out flyers.
The flyer accuses the Morrison Government of cutting $1.9 billion funding to state schools in 2018 and 2019, while at the same time giving private schools $4.6 billion.
It also says anyone wanting to get involved in the campaign could "vote for a party that supports state schools" at the looming federal election.
Shadow education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said it was politicising the school grounds.
"It's clearly inappropriate to be sending political union propaganda home with students and putting posters on school fences," he said.
"This is a blatant political campaign exercise by the union movement to ensure Federal Labor get elected on a basis of lies."
A Department of Education spokesman said that in regard to the Thangool incident, there was miscommunication between the QTU organiser, school principal and teaching staff, which resulted in a small number of teachers mistakenly sending the flyer home.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Thangool incident was an honest mistake.