A Sydney council has caused upset with the controversial move to ban teachers from accepting ‘traditional gifts’ in a bid to prevent corruption and bribery.
Inner West Council, which recently merged the Sydney councils of Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt, have distributed a memo saying receiving personal gifts breaches the teachers’ code of conduct.
'Cash-like' gifts over $50 in value including gift vouchers or bottles of wine are now considered 'banned'.
'We do acknowledge that some families feel strongly about showing their appreciation to our educators and staff for their work with the children throughout the year,' the memo said, reports the Daily Telegraph.
'With this in mind, I would ask you to consider carefully any gifts you may offer. For example, a simple thankyou card, or a child-made creation or drawing as alternatives to traditional gifts.'
Former Leichhardt Council mayor, Darcy Byrne, criticised the decision telling the Daily Telegraph that there are more important things to focus on than a ‘Christmas crackdown in gifts’, especially considering how ‘underpaid and undervalued’ childhood carers and educators are.