Thousands of teachers have overrun a small group of anti-vaxxers trying to hijack their protest in Sydney in one of the largest rallies seen since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.
Nearly 400 state schools across NSW are closed while others remain open with a skeleton staff supervising students as teachers and principals walk off the job on Tuesday to strike over pay and conditions.
In scenes reminiscent of the industrial turmoil of the 1980s, thousands of teachers from Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains gathered in Hyde Park and began marching to NSW Parliament.
A small group of anti-vaxxers protesting jab mandates and Covid lockdowns booed at the red-shirted teachers and yelled 'shame on you', but were quickly overrun by the large crowds.
Meanwhile, 9 News reporter Liz Daniels found herself in trouble after attending the protests wearing a white blouse - only to discover white shirts were being worn as a uniform to mark anti-vaxxers in the crowds.
'Rocked up to cover the teachers rally in a crisp white blouse, only to realise this is the 'symbol' to indicate the anti-vaxxers in the crowd,' she admitted.
'Want to declare now I am double-dosed… just here for the news.'
Reporter Liz Daniels went down to cover the Sydney teacher protest in a white blouse only to discover white shirts were being worn as a uniform to mark anti-vaxxers in the crowd
Teachers across New South Wales went on strike on Tuesday to protest unsustainable workloads for uncompetitive pay
Thousands of school staff from Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains rallied in Sydney to march to NSW Parliament House
Teachers claim staff shortages have increased workloads with little incentive to match, resulting in thousands marching through Sydney in protest.
'Today's disruption will pale into insignificance when the teacher shortages get worse and there's not a teacher in front of your child's classroom,' NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos told the ABC.
'The cost of not acting now and forcing the government to take note and do what needs to be done will be far greater.'
Teachers want a pay increase up to 7.5 per cent a year to reverse the decline in teachers' wages compared to other