Teachers at Howlong Public School yesterday walked off the job in protest of "unsustainable" work conditions.
NSW Teachers Federation representative John Curtis said the school is critically understaffed.
"Since the start of the year on over 30 occasions we've been unable to get a casual to replace an absent teacher," Mr Curtis said.
"We went on strike because we're no longer willing to compromise the learning outcomes of our students due to staffing shortages."
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Mr Curtis said that as result of the staffing shortage, teachers often felt they needed to come to work when sick because of the effect their absence would have on the school.
"On one particular day we had three staff absent, so that was three classes without teachers in a school with eight classrooms," he said.
"It has a profound impact on the running of your school, any job becomes stressful when you have a quarter of your staff away."
The union representative said the Gallop Inquiry and its findings were instrumental in the school's staff taking action.
"The releasing of the Gallop Report galvanised us because we realised it was a statewide problem, it wasn't just something affecting a small semi-rural school," he said.
"The report found that all aspects of our work have changed due to policy changes, advances in technology, the constantly changing curriculum and the increasing needs of students."
NSW Teachers Federation regional organiser Tanya McKinlay said if changes weren't made to working conditions new teachers couldn't be attracted.
"You can't fix the shortages without fixing the wages and workload problem," she said.
"If we don't pay teachers what they are worth, we won't get the teachers we need."
A NSW Department of Education spokeswoman said there were no unfilled vacancies at Howlong Public School.
"All Rural and remote schools in NSW are a part of the Teach Rural initiative which is utilised to fill vacant positions as they arise," she said.
"The Department of Education works closely with schools to actively recruit for any vacancies schools might be experiencing.
"To date, we have filled almost 3200 teaching positions in 2021.
"The number of current teacher vacancies in NSW public schools represents approximately 1.5 per cent of overall teaching roles.
"Given we have 74,000 teachers, this is a very low vacancy rate for an organisation of our size."
The NSW Government is working on a long term Staffing Supply Strategy and in addition, the Fast Stream program will encourage people to undertake a career in teaching by providing an accelerated pathway to school leadership for high-performing teachers and high-potential university graduates.
As part of this program, all participants will complete at least one placement in a regional school where teachers are in high demand.
A review of the Department's incentives program is currently underway to assess the effectiveness of the overall scheme in attracting and retaining teachers in rural and remote locations.
Currently, eligible permanent teachers in rural and remote locations currently receive a range of incentives, including:
- A rural teacher incentive of up to $30,000
- Up to 90 per cent rental subsidy
- An annual 'retention benefit' of $5000 for up to 10 year
- An annual 'experienced teacher' bonus of $10,000 for up to 5 years
- Recruitment bonus of $10,000 (if applicable)
- A 10-week trial placement before permanent appointment
- Up to four additional professional development days and four additional personal leave days
- Priority transfer after two to five years
The new Staffing Agreement starting in July 2021, announced in late May, and negotiated between the Department and the New South Wales Teachers Federation, will enhance mobility and ensure there is a sufficient supply of teachers.