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Stop TAFE Cuts campaign update
Federation members continue to campaign against the federal and state governments’ failed vocational education policies.
The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign has this year held a wide variety of community events and local protests where members have met with students, local government representatives, state MPs and the community to highlight the effect of the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled policy on TAFE students.
Actions undertaken this year include:
Hamilton TAFE members and students met with state Opposition Leader Luke Foley on 19 February. They informed him that course fees had increased, course delivery hours have been reduced and teachers and support staff were facing job losses.
On 20 February in Taree, retired TAFE teachers met with Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car and local councillor Dr David Keegan. The retired teachers expressed their concern at the redundancies of head teachers at their local college and on the North Coast.
Goulburn and District Unions held a protest on 1 March outside an invitation-only community meeting with Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The Goulburn and District Unions were not invited despite nurse-to-patient ratios and cuts to Goulburn TAFE being raised by local media. A small group rallied at Goulburn TAFE to protest the visit of the Premier and her deputy Premier John Barilaro.
Kempsey TAFE TA held a stall at Kempsey community markets 3 March where many local people expressed their gratitude at the important role TAFE education and skills played in their town.
TAFE members and officers were invited to a roundtable with federal Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and the Future of Work Ed Husic and Labor candidate for the seat of Gilmore Fiona Phillips in Nowra on 5 March. The meeting focused on high youth unemployment in the Shoalhaven region and the importance of Nowra TAFE in assisting young people acquiring skills for work.
Students, Federation members, retired teachers and the South Coast Labour Council held a protest meeting outside TAFE campuses at Moruya and Bega on 6 March. The protest meeting was told head teachers’ jobs are being deleted at the colleges.
Federation officers met with federal Shadow Minister Tony Burke on 7 March, where he signed the pledge to guarantee funding to TAFE students and to end the fully contestable market for federal funding.
On 18 March, Labor stopped at Padstow TAFE on day one of their Schools and Hospitals before Stadiums bus tour. The meeting heard speeches from Federation Deputy Secretary Maxine Sharkey, Luke Foley and Shane Jobberns from the PSA.
At Wyong TAFE on 19 March, federal and state MPs met with TAFE teachers to discuss the impact of the Berejiklian Government’s Smart and Skilled policy on their local college. The Outreach program across NSW has been cut and Wyong College is losing their Outreach coordinator.
The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign will continue, given Federation has a history of fighting long campaigns to enhance and protect public education.
Members are fighting for the survival of TAFE as the preeminent public education provider of vocational education in NSW and across Australia.
Join the campaign at stoptafecuts.com.au.