National TAFE Day on June 18 is a great opportunity to inform colleagues, students, local community and industry that public education at the post school level is under enormous threat.
Community awareness is needed to make TAFE funding a major issue at the 2015 state election.
Under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled policy all vocational education and training funds will be subject to competitive tender — non-TAFE registered training organisations will be able to compete for funds that traditionally went to the TAFE system.
TAFE members are called on to organise National TAFE Day actions such as morning teas, BBQs or other activities to highlight the importance of TAFE as the preeminent public education institution in NSW.
The Coalition Government planned to implement the Smart and Skilled policy in January and then again in July 2014, but implementation has been delayed after Federation campaigning raised concerns about the impacts the policy would have on students, teachers and local communities.
As TAFE NSW prepares for the privatisation proposed by the State Government no amalgamations have yet been proposed, but courses have been cut, student fees and debt have increased and permanent and casual part time teachers have lost some or all of their work, including more than 400 teaching and support staff positions lost.
The union will continue to campaign for recurrent funding to ensure the viability of NSW TAFE.
Members are encouraged to send photos of National TAFE Day activities to www.stoptafecuts.com.au.