Citizens sign up for gaol education debate

Rob Long
TAFE Organiser

Participants at the Blue Mountains Politics in the Pub event make their point over the axing of gaol teachers

Teachers have taken to their local communities to spread the word on the state government’s attack on public education in NSW correctional centres.

On learning that the NSW government plans to abolish 138 of the 158 qualified teacher positions in gaols, re-classifying some of these jobs as clerical and opening up prison education to private providers, more than 8000 citizens have signed a petition to have the Better Prisons reforms of educational delivery debated in NSW Parliament — 10,000 signatures are needed.

After a presentation to Goulburn and District Unions, the organisation is supporting Federation’s campaign. The organisation is calling on local state MP Pru Goward to defend the local permanent teaching positions and is demanding Corrections Minister David Elliott immediately halt the abolition of these vital educational positions. Goulburn and District Unions’ executive is organising to support another delegation to call on Ms Goward to demand Goulburn retain its qualified experienced educational staff.

Blue Mountains Unions Council Politics in the Pub on September 3 discussed the need for high-quality public education in NSW correctional centres. Guest speakers included Corrective Services teachers Association President Stewart Burkitt.

Local protests have been held by Long Bay, Cessnock and Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre members. Members have taken stop-work protest action to call on Premier Mike Baird to stop the Better Prison educational model and ensure that our highly-qualified and experienced senior educational officers, education officers and teachers continue to help prisoners turn their lives around.

For more on the campaign and the petition visit www.nswtf.org.au/cs.

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