TAFE teachers denounce award


TAFE teachers denounce award

By Nina Murka

SYDNEY — Mass meetings of TAFE Teachers Association members were held on August 14 across NSW in response to an Industrial Relations Commission award handed down a week earlier.

The award, which has taken almost two years to be finalised, means a substantial loss in working conditions with little financial gain. It is a potentially divisive decision, putting some sections on par with others where there was traditionally a lag and initially giving them a salary increase.

Approximately 40% of TAFE teachers will have a two-hour increase in teaching duties. Loss of "daylight equivalent" could mean an additional four to six hour increase for those on evening programs.

Part-time teachers — 60% of TAFE — will receive no benefit from the judgment, and there is no agreed formula on part-time teaching rates.

The association estimates that 416 jobs will go as a direct result of this decision, and a further 100-200 as a result of a restructuring review and budget blowout of $30 million.

Geoff Turnball, the president of TAFETA, called for a long-term industrial campaign with community and union support. The meeting voted for a 48-hour stoppage on September 2-3.

The day following the meeting, further restructuring of TAFE colleges into "institutes" was announced, and redundancy notices were issued to some senior executive officers and student support staff, including all counsellors and student activities officers.

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