Teacher shortage is a real problem

GLADSTONE teachers may be asked to back a campaign to ensure they have adequate and affordable places to live as the region struggles under the industrial boom.

Queensland Teachers' Union central Queensland organiser Barry Thomson said he would canvass teachers about the possibility of running a campaign in the near future for affordable accommodation.

Mr Thomson said during his visit to Gladstone last week he was told by some teachers they were seeking transfers because they could not afford to remain in Gladstone.

The Department of Education has confirmed there were teaching vacancies in schools brought about by the lack of accommodation for teachers, although it said the students were not missing out by the teacher shortage.

"This is developing into quite a concern among teachers and the union," Mr Thomson said.

"The rents are going up and the teachers, particularly young teachers on a low wage, or teachers who were the sole income earners for their families."

He said other teachers had to travel long distances to and from school to be able to afford their accommodation.

Last month the department's regional director for Central Queensland, Wayne Butler, said Gladstone had a variety of teacher accommodation, financial incentives and other benefits available for eligible teachers.

He said no specific schools were experiencing teacher shortages.

Mr Thomson said it was true there was a variety of accommodation available, "but it's just not enough".

He said while it was possible that at this stage no schools had teacher shortages, increasing rents would put continued pressure on teachers to transfer to schools where accommodation was more affordable.

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