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You can help save TAFE
Now is the time to tell your local state and federal politicians how much you value TAFE — our present and future students are relying on you.
Cuts to government funding for TAFE have weakened the system. A deluge of voices is needed to convince politicians that TAFE is an important election issue and governments must restore TAFE as the primary recipient of government vocational funding, to ensure the future of the public vocational education provider.
Stop TAFE Cuts campaigners have been working hard to educate members of the public and politicians about the consequences of funding cuts (student fee hikes, reduced course hours, reduced course offerings and teacher job losses).
Some politicians and their parties have taken notice of community pressure for governments to guarantee at least 70 per cent of governments’ vocational education funding, but your voice will strengthen the message to other politicians who may form part of the next government.
As the state and federal elections approach, please take the time to ask your local candidates if they will support a minimum of 70 per cent of governments’ vocational education funding going to the TAFE sector.
Visit stoptafecuts.com.au/resources for facts and figures on vocational education funding, to use in your correspondence and conversations with politicians.
A visual reminder
The Stop TAFE Cuts message has been communicated to politicians and the public at several recent public events.
TAFE teachers, support staff, school teachers, construction workers, community members and other union members rallied outside the office of the Banks MP David Coleman on 15 February.
Federation’s stall at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January gave the union an opportunity for members and union officers to outline the TAFE funding crisis to Tamworth locals and people from across Australia.
With the sound of country music buskers on Peel Street in the background, grandparents, parents, students and local community members conveyed their anger at the effect of TAFE funding cuts on students and teachers.
The community expressed concern with the problem of ever-increasing TAFE student fees and debt. These increases are stopping many students from getting the skills and education they need to gain employment.
Grandparents said they were worried about the future of their grandkids, that business owners can’t get the skilled workers they need; and teachers are seeing the damage funding cuts are doing to their graduates.
Federation is running an “Enrol to vote for TAFE” campaign on TAFE campuses and online to ensure students are aware of the Stop TAFE Cuts campaign to safeguard public vocational education.
The Stop TAFE Cuts message was shared by members of Federation’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer Special Interest Group with visitors to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ Fair Day on 17 February.
Maxine Sharkey Deputy Secretary