Teachers at a Katherine school were today warned not to raise the issue of their lost rental subsidies with visiting Labor politicians, which included Education Minister Selena Uibo.
The teachers were told in an email sent to all staff this morning to keep their anger in check.
The Katherine Times has obtained a copy of this advice.
NT Education Minister Selena Uibo was among the politicians on the federal election trail in town today.
The Katherine Times approached Ms Uibo in person to comment on the rental subsidy controversy but she refused to comment, referring us instead to her office.
The politicians, which include federal deputy Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek and Lingiari MHR Warren Snowdon were on the campaign trail for a series of funding announcements this afternoon.
They visited two local public schools where teachers were outraged to discover over the holidays they were to lose their rental subsidies under the NT Budget's fix.
Teachers have told us this could cost them up to $24,000 a year each.
The move, isolated to Katherine alone, is expected to save the NT Government $500,000 a year for its Budget fix.
Teachers at one Katherine school were today cautioned to keep quiet and "reminded" they were public servants and were not to question government policy.
Katherine teachers, and their Australian Education Union, say they were not consulted by the government over the planned changes.
The AEU is also concerned with the issuing of a gag order on Katherine teachers.
"We only came back from holidays today and have not had the chance to talk to anyone about this, now we can't even raise it with the Minister," we were told today.
Deputy Opposition leader Lia Finocchiaro said today's move to gag teachers on the issue of lost rental subsidies in Katherine was deplorable.
"It is an unprecedented move to prohibit public servants from raising their concerns with a visiting Labor politician.
"It is a blatant backflip on the Gunner Labor Government's promise to be open and transparent, and a move to block bad press and to cover up an unpopular decision.
"The bottom line is, the teachers of Katherine do an amazing job and have every right to question why they are being targeted by their Education Minister.
"What is wrong with anyone raising concerns with Labor politicians? Don't they want to hear the truth from Territorians?
"The Gunner Labor government wants everyone to toe the line and if they don't they are punished - just look at what they did to three of their own members, one of whom was a Minister.
"Business won't speak out fearing retribution and loss of contracts, what sort of government is this? it is no wonder Territorians have lost confidence in this Gunner Labor government, they are arrogant and out of touch."