Teachers’ union has hands around Govt’s throat: Dutton

HOME Affairs minister Peter Dutton says it's safe for Queensland students to return school but they're not because of a union's influence over the state government.

Mr Dutton said the medical advice was clear that it's safe to return to classrooms.

In his crosshairs was the Queensland Teachers' Union which has opposed boosting student attendances because of health concerns for their members during the COVID-19 crisis.

"In my home state of Queensland, the teachers' union has their hands firmly around the throat of the government," Mr Dutton told the Nine Network's Today show on Friday.

 

Peter Dutton said the Queensland Teachers’ Union is preventing Queensland students from returning to schools. Picture: Darren England
Peter Dutton said the Queensland Teachers’ Union is preventing Queensland students from returning to schools. Picture: Darren England

 

The powerful QTU, according to The Courier-Mail, is threatening to have schools shut down if "too many" kids turn up to class, or if schools are found to run short of cleaning products.

"If health and safety is compromised - whether by lack of hygiene products or too many students attending - the union will seek to have the operation of schools suspended until the safety issue is resolved,'' Queensland Teachers' Union general secretary Graham Moloney said in an update to principals. The stance may mean students may not fully return to school until after the June break.

 


Queenslanders have been urged not to waver on the strict COVID-19 lockdown as record numbers reach out for help amid job losses and tough social distancing restrictions.

The premier urged people to stick with strict restrictions.

"We are seeing this flattening of the curve but we need to keep this up for the next couple of weeks," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Queensland's coronavirus tally sits at 1026.

Just eight people have tested positive in the four days.

There are 20 sufferers in hospital and seven are in intensive care with six on ventilators.

Overall, 14 people who have contracted COVID-19 have been aged nine or younger and 35 have been 10-19 years-of-age while 788 have recovered.

Originally published as Teachers' union has hands around Govt's throat: Dutton