AT LEAST six public schools in Maribyrnong and three in Hobsons Bay were forced to close last Thursday, while others ran with a skeleton staff and revised timetables when teachers and many principals took industrial action.
Educators are locked in a dispute with the state government, which has reneged on its 2010 election promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid in the country.
Western suburbs teachers joined 25,000 from across the state in the strike action.
Altona, Altona Green and Altona Meadows primary schools shut down, as did Braybrook College, Dinjerra Primary at Braybrook, Footscray City College, Footscray North and West primaries and Yarraville Special Developmental School.
Australian Education Union president Mary Bluett made special mention of Seabrook Primary School, near Point Cook.
She said the school, which has nearly 900 students, had the best response to a stopwork in its 13-year history.
It had nearly 100per cent union membership, with 42 members striking last week and 32 out of 38 classes closed.
She also mentioned Maribyrnong College. All its assistant principals went on strike, while the principal made a substantial donation to the college union sub-branch.
The government has offered Victorian teachers a 2.5per cent pay increase with bonuses for high performers.
The union says a 30per cent increase would be required before Victoria's teachers were the highest paid.
Ms Bluett said almost half of all Victorian public schools still had classes of more than 25 students, which made it nearly impossible for teachers to provide each student with individual attention.
"Despite the Baillieu government's repeated promise to make Victorian teachers the highest paid, they are now backflipping and leaving our teachers lagging behind other states."
Premier Ted Baillieu said it was proposed that 70per cent of the top-performing teachers would receive tiered bonuses.
"It's proposed that the best-performing teachers will receive a 10per cent bonus. The following 20per cent receive a 6per cent bonus, and the following 40per cent receive a 1.4per cent bonus," he said.