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Members fight for the survival of TAFE
Federation members have enlightened regional voters of the dire state of public vocational education — wrought by the contestable-funding policies of the federal and state Coalition governments — in a series of Stop TAFE Cuts campaign events.
In Newcastle on 27 February, a roundtable of TAFE teachers and local MPs, including the Port Stephens MP Kate Washington), Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison, and a representative for Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery, was held at Hunter Unions.
The local MPs were briefed on issues that are negatively affecting students, teachers, industry and the local community, caused by the Smart and Skilled funding policy in NSW.
Also on the day, TAFE funding cuts were a central issue at the #notgladgladys rally in the state seat of Monaro. A media conference was held at Queanbeyan TAFE the following morning.
The problems for regional TAFE students gaining access to practical workshops and not just online video conferencing is a critical issue.
On 28 February, a rally in Goulburn highlighted the fact that the local TAFE head teaching positions in Hospitality, Community Services and Automotive had been cut from the local college.
The Stop TAFE Cuts campaign continues to highlight how contestable funding for government vocational education dollars has led to cuts in course delivery hours for our students. Teachers are also under increasing pressure to deliver qualifications with less face-to-face teaching time.
We must stop this dumbing down of qualifications by the so-called Smart and Skilled policy.
All other areas of trades and non-trades delivery are also under pressure to reduce face-to-face teaching hours, and unless guaranteed funding is restored to TAFE immediately our students will suffer.
TAFE members are fighting for the survival of TAFE as the preeminent public education provider of vocational education in NSW and across Australia.
Further information is available on the campaign website, stoptafecuts.com.au.
Local media coverage of the Hunter roundtable can be found here.
Rob Long, TAFE Organiser