"THIS is about more than extra pay for teachers".
Those are the words from one local union representative after Leeton shire's public school teachers were among thousands across the state to walk off the job on Tuesday and participate in statewide strike action.
Teachers took the drastic action to participate in the strike action after discussions with the NSW Department of Education continued to hit a stalemate.
While the department criticised the strike, the NSW Teachers Federation labelled it as necessary in the hopes real change would come about.
Teachers across the state have been participating in the "More Than Thanks" campaign, which was ramped up on Tuesday.
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Teachers say they are over-worked, under paid and are concerned about the future of the education system as it is unable to attract and retain enough staff to have schools running at full capacity across the state.
Parkview Public School's NSW Teachers Federation representative Fiona Hislop was hopeful the state government had taken notice.
Parkview teachers were among others from across Leeton shire to attend a special rally in Wagga on Tuesday as part of the action.
"I'm really hoping the message was heard ... it has to be heard," Mrs Hislop said.
"The major point of all of this is teacher shortages and about the fact we can't attract people into the profession anymore, which is really sad because our students deserve better.
"They (the department) understand the workload and the fact salaries haven't kept pace with other professions.
"Administration work has all increased remarkably. Students see the burden and they leave school and think 'I don't want that for me'."
Mrs Hislop said the community could show its support by looking into the "More Than Thanks" campaign, sharing posts on social media and speaking up for teachers.
"This isn't just about pay, this is about the future of education," she said.
"We want to attract the best and brightest teachers. That's what kids deserve."
Currently, one in eight teachers now leave the profession within six years because of the pay and workload pressures. There are more than 1000 full-time teaching positions unfilled in NSW. Find out more information about the campaign at https://www.morethanthanks.com.au/.
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