NOT COOL: Roma branch president of the QTU Chris Smith said teachers were considering  industrial action if their request for air conditioning in teacher housing is not considered.
NOT COOL: Roma branch president of the QTU Chris Smith said teachers were considering industrial action if their request for air conditioning in teacher housing is not considered. Tom Gillespie

Roma teachers threaten strike action over air-con

IT'S hard for Chris Smith to keep his cool, especially when he knows fellow teachers can't do the same.

The Roma branch president of the Queensland Teachers Union has threatened strike action will be considered if the State Government does not meet their simple request for proper air-conditioning in all teacher accommodation.

Mr Smith said they have received no word from the office of Housing and Public Works Minister Michael de Brenni for two months.

"I met with de Brenni, and he said he would investigate,” he said.

"To accelerate that, we as a staff body met (in June) and said we wanted to send an official communication from the union, seeking...his support for reversal-cycle air-conditioning to be installed.

"We've received no communication since then.

"It's either he's purposely ignoring us, or his department is incompetent.”

The lack of air-conditioning in all of the 20-plus teacher accommodation properties in town was not only impacting the current staff, but also affecting Roma's ability to recruit quality graduates.

"It makes the issue for staff a really significant challenge and it impacts their well-being,” he said.

"We go home from a stressful day and we don't have a warm or cool place to go.

"There is a high turnover with staff, and this issue isn't necessarily contributing to that, but it doesn't help.

"It's a way for us to attract staff to come out here, but if we have substandard accommodation, it can be difficult.”


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