The new term will get off to a shaky start for some Illawarra schools, as support staff join the region's public servants in a half-day strike on the first day back on Monday week.
Teachers' aides, administration officers and general assistants will join aged-care, community service, disability and other government workers from more than 550 sites in the Illawarra and South Coast at a statewide Public Service Association stopwork meeting between 9am and 1pm on October 8.
Teachers will be at school as normal, but a number of front office and maintenance staff as well as specialist staff who support special needs children are expected to attend the four-hour meeting.
A spokeswoman from the NSW Department of Education and Communities said most schools in the Illawarra would be unaffected but "a number of the [Illawarra South East] region's four special schools will be affected".
"All parents in schools where students will be affected by the industrial action were advised of this by their principal last week," the spokeswoman said.
Parents at Wollongong's Para Meadows School were advised in last term's school newsletter that it was "anticipated that the school will be unable to function safely without the support of the ancillary staff".
Public Service Association regional organiser Tony Heathwood said public servants had been driven to stop work by numerous NSW government "attacks" over the past few months.
He said education-related issues included a cap on pay rises for school support staff, the devolution of the schools system and the recent $1.7 billion cut to the NSW education budget.
"Our members are at the stage where they are frustrated and want to show some solidarity in the face of all these little things that have been adding up," he said.
"The important work that our members do is at risk and we are worried about the impact all these things will have on the final delivery of education outcomes."
Illawarra TAFE staff are also encouraged to attend the stopwork meetings to protest at more than 800 job cuts at TAFE NSW. They are unable to legally take part in the strike because their jobs are covered by federal industrial law, but have been encouraged to apply for a leave day on October 8.