Dover Heights TAFE closed


By Karen Fletcher SYDNEY — The Carr government has decided to close the Dover Heights College of TAFE less than three weeks before the end of the academic year. Staff and students of the college have been left wondering what will happen to them next year. "There is no mechanism in place to redeploy staff or to accommodate students already enrolled in courses at Dover Heights College in 1996", said Ray Cavanagh, acting president of the NSW Teachers Federation. "This decision shows a callous disregard for the welfare of teachers students and the needs of the community that the college serves." Members of the Teachers Federation and the Public Service Association at Dover Heights held a stop-work meeting on November 30, and voted to stay out for the rest of the day. The meeting also resolved to ban marking the 1995 examinations and the processing of examination results. The staff called for an open and comprehensive review by a task force including representatives of staff, students and the community, before any decision is made on the future of the college. The closure of Dover Heights is the latest in a series of attacks on the TAFE sector by the Carr government. Last month, TAFE staff struck over moves to undercut TAFE funding by introducing a system of private tendering. This year the government has also pushed though a TAFE restructure which has axed hundreds of jobs and threatened hundreds more. Federation and PSA members in the Sydney Institute of Technology, of which Dover Heights is a part, will meet on December 4 to discuss what action to take. This will be followed by a combined meeting of TAFE and school teachers from the eastern suburbs to discuss possibilities for joint action.