A NUMBER of public schools have closed across the Bendigo region today as teachers, principals and support staff take part in the biggest industrial action in Victoria's history.
Fifteen schools have closed with at least 25 opening with skeleton staff. It's estimated up to 400 schools have closed across the state.
Today's strike marks the first time support staff have joined teachers as they campaign for better pay and job security.
Teachers are fighting for a 30 per cent pay rise over three years, a maximum class size of 20 kids, a 50 per cent reduction in the number of short term contracts and a reduced work load.
The state government is offering performance-based pay for 70 per cent of teachers, an annual pay rise of 2.5 per cent, a 20 per cent reduction in teachers who move up the pay scale every year and to increase the average secondary school teacher's workload by one hour every week.
It's believed about 5000 staff from Catholic schools will also walk off the job in support of their public school counterparts.
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More to come.