WIMMERA teachers' stop-work action has escalated, with at least two school camps cancelled and a third affected.
The Federal Court yesterday rejected a State Government attempt to stop teachers taking industrial action.
Wimmera Australian Education Union members will strike on Thursday and rally outside Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty's Horsham office.
The strike follows industrial action last year, which included two other strikes and a report-writing ban, in pursuit of reducing contract employment, lowering class sizes, lifting salaries and solving workload issues.
The union also put a ban on overtime, encouraging teachers to refuse to work more than a 38-hour week.
The overtime ban has forced Horsham College to cancel its year seven and year eight start-of-year camps. Teacher and union sub-branch president Graeme Wilkinson said the school could also cancel camps later in the year if the dispute was not resolved.
He described the State Government's court action as a last-minute bid to get the union's proposed agreement thrown out.
Mr Wilkinson said the government had not taken the dispute seriously but staff would continue to fight for better pay and conditions.
"There's a lot of grassroots support,'' he said.
"There are a lot of people passionate about state education.
"You don't meet many teachers who aren't passionate about all these issues.''
Stawell Secondary College teacher and union sub-branch president Catherine Mackay said the overtime ban had affected the school's year 12 retreat.
She said non-union members staffed the camp overnight.
Some union members travelled to the camp during the day then returned home at night.
"Some of the year 12 teachers did not go because of it and some activities did not go ahead,'' Ms Mackay said.
"We have been placed in a position that we've had to review camps for this year. It's been a really difficult issue.''
Ms Mackay said a year seven camp next month was being assessed.
She thanked parents for their support.
"We've had a few negative comments but overwhelmingly it's been support from parents,'' she said.
"I very much believe the State Government undervalues state teachers.
"I'm very disappointed and any parent who has a child in the state education system should share my disappointment.''
Warracknabeal Secondary College teacher and union sub-branch president John Bish said the State Government's court action had prolonged the dispute.
He said the court decision proved the union had a fair fight.
"It's been 18 months now we can go for a few years if we need to,'' he said.
Mr Bish said the school's union members would not join the overtime ban.
He asked the State Government to 'sit down and be serious' with their negotiations.
"If they're not even going to look at the offer we're never going to get anywhere," he said.
Horsham West Primary School assistant principal and union sub-branch president Dino McMillan said the dispute was first and foremost about services for students.
She said the State Government had cut $2 billion from state education since coming into power.
"I'm coming to the end of my career but I'm worried about the impact it will have on the children and teachers in the future,'' she said.