National TAFE Day on June 3 will celebrate the achievements of the TAFE system, which is under attack by state governments in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
Teachers and students will be urged to sign up to the Australian Education Union’s (AEU) national Stop TAFE Cuts campaign. Governments in NSW, Victoria and Queensland are increasing fees and cutting courses and teachers’ jobs.
In NSW, the Government has made cuts of $130 million from TAFE, with more to come. Over four years, 800 teaching and non- teaching jobs are to be cut. In the first round, 150 teaching positions have been identified for cuts. The second round has already commenced in some institutes. TAFE teachers have still not received a 2.5 per cent salary increase because they have rejected TAFE’s proposals to replace many teachers with less qualified and lower paid tutors and assessors. Further fee increases are likely following the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Review.
In Victoria, $300 million has been cut from TAFE institutes resulting in hundreds of courses being cut, campuses closed and more than 2400 TAFE teachers losing their jobs.
In Queensland, the Government is threatening to close 38 of the state’s 82 TAFE campuses and cut $100 million from the TAFE budget.
The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign is calling on all communities to support the maintenance of TAFE as a world class system.
The federal inquiry into the role of TAFE has provided an opportunity to challenge the cuts and changes to TAFE. The AEU NSW Branch has already made a written submission to the inquiry and activists will attend the NSW hearing when the date has been determined. Visit StopTAFEcuts.com.au to find out more about the campaign.
Maxine Sharkey is Assistant General Secretary (Post School Education) and Joan Lemaire is Senior Vice President.