Hundreds of Border teachers from public and Catholic schools refused to work on Thursday as part of a NSW-wide strike for better pay and conditions.
Teachers gathered at Albury's Commercial Club in the morning before marching along Dean Street to QEII Square, loudly chanting: "More than thanks."
It was said to be the first time in 25 years that the two unions representing around 85,000 teachers in NSW and the ACT had come together in such a way in an industrial dispute.
Federation member Sally Morris, of Albury Public School, said the call for action was shared by teachers throughout NSW.
"It's quite historic to have the IEU (Independent Education Union) and NSW Teachers' Federation acting together," she said.
"It shows the depth of feeling and the desperation in the system-wide issue, the system-wide failure.
"There are no teachers. There are no teachers because we cannot attract teachers and we can't attract teachers because the conditions are appalling and they have been degrading over time and the workload is growing."
Wodonga teacher Marcus Rowland said what was happening was not good enough.
"NSW is pushing harder than Victoria; good on NSW, I'm here to show support," he said.
"Education is the future and the backbone. Without teachers, educators and support staff, we don't have a future.
"We need everyone to hear that we have a voice, that there is a whole backbone of hours that we put in day in and day out and there is no way to escape from our jobs because we all have the same problems."
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said NSW teachers were offered a 3 per cent pay rise, being one of the highest across the nation.
"At the end of the day absolutely there is a wage pressure acting on all of our communities," Mr Clancy said. "I want to in that sense acknowledge all the families, the parents and children that won't be able to attend school and will have their education impacted in that regard.
"We've seen NSW coming up with a 3 per cent wage policy which is one of the highest across the nation that compares to 1.5 per cent in Victoria.
"We want to make sure that we continue to work with our teachers and we understand the pressures that act on them but we want to continue to work in good faith in the regard.
"Education is important for our children."
But NSW teachers are unhappy with the offer of a 3 per cent pay increase included in last week's state budget.
Albury High School teacher Elyse Burns said the NSW government was not listening.
"You need to look at what's happening in schools, listen to teachers and give us what we deserve - more than thanks," she said.
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"We do not have enough time to do our job. There aren't enough teachers around, and the pay doesn't reflect what we do."
IEU organiser and former teacher Anthony Telford said he wanted the government to pay teachers what they were worth.
Mr Telford said the teaching profession was in crisis.
"People are right on the edge, they've been pushed and pushed," he said.
"Pay us what we are worth, it's obvious for everyone that teachers are worth more than they're getting.
"They're an important part of the community, but they're exhausted and they're done."
One secondary teacher, who did not wish to be identified, said the strike was about having teachers' voices heard.
The man said about 70 per cent of teachers were so disillusioned they no longer wanted to continue in their chosen profession.
"This year has been the hardest we as a whole industry have had to work," he said.
"Things are getting to a breaking point and we're beyond exhausted; we need better pay and better conditions, we need our voices heard."
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