ON her wage, Jane Carter can't afford to buy a home in the suburb she works.
Ms Carter, an English teacher at Mount Waverley Secondary College, says the money she's been paid for the past decade has left her struggling financially and unable to buy a home.
"They've got no idea how hard we work," Ms Carter says.
"I don't know how they expect us to be these quality teachers that they keep on talking about but they're not willing to support us in any way. I work in substandard conditions with a substandard wage but they want quality teaching."
So on Wednesday, instead of going to school, she'll be taking part in what's expected to be the largest stop work the Victorian education industry has seen.
At least 35,000 people are expected to pile into to Hisense Arena to fight for better pay and conditions.
But it's not only teachers and principals who will be taking part. For the first time in Victoria, support staff including including business managers, technicians, librarians and integration aides are making a stand.
Victorian educators are protesting against the 2.5per cent pay rise offered by the Baillieu government over the next three years.
Victorian branch president of the Australian Education Union Mary Bluett said 97 per cent of members voted to the stop work.
"The Baillieu government will now have alienated their entire education workforce," Ms Bluett said.
Negotiations have ground to a halt since the teachers' strike on June 7. The union is accusing the government of refusing to come to the table.
"By the time we stop work next week, it'll have been three months since that last strike.
"There's not been a phone call, not a note, not an approach in any shape at all.
"It's time to come back to the negotiating table and try and resolve this issue before the campaign escalates."
The union is hoping for a 10 per cent pay rise over three years, a rate it says is negotiable. "We're looking for something that at least makes us competitive and in particular with places like New South Wales, ACT, Queensland."
The teachers are also rejecting the government's plan to reward teachers based on performance.
Ms Carter says there are too many variables when it comes to measuring performance. "It's ridiculous. How can you say who works harder than someone else?"
She said performance pay would pit teachers against each other. "As if I'm going to want to share everything that I create with my fellow teachers because I'm competing against them now.
We work together as a team to try and get the best possible marks."
Ms Bluett says if there's no resolution by the end of the year, the teachers will be considering measures like working to a 38-hour week, which would effectively bring an end to activities such as camps and excursions.
The Weekly has contacted the state government for comment.