Teachers in the Northern Territory (NT) state of Australia were planning strike action next Wednesday against education cuts. This was the latest stage in a long fight by NT teachers for proper funding for education. The situation has been further exacerbated by the government's decision to devolve funding to the school level, which as an Australian Education Union (AEU) paper points out, will tend to lead to a further squeeze on budgets, as well as increasing inequalities between wealthier and low income school districts like those in the remote areas.

Remote schools serving indigenous communities have been particularly hard hit by cuts. While a recent truancy drive has increased attendance by 17%, the money to these schools has been cut. When NT teachers took strike action in March over the same issue, the government unsuccessfully attempted to use the courts to prevent them, who found in the AEU's favour. Yet the teachers are still having to battle on.

The government is attempting to frame the dispute as about pay, however local AEU president, Jarvis Ryan, told reporters: "They keep saying it's about pay and we keep saying 'You've cut funding out of the system, we want the cuts reversed, we want our teachers back, we want the resources back in schools', and they won't do that."

Reports today say that next week's strike has been called off, however it does not appear that the teachers have won their battle, which is part of a wider 'I give a Gonski' campaign by the AEU nationally for fair funding for education based on a report which identified the need for more funding for education across the country.