TAFE teachers launch reinstatement petition
By Maurice Sibelle
MELBOURNE — A petition to reinstate three teachers sacked from Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE was launched at the Australian Education Union (Victorian branch) annual conference on July 20.
The petition, addressed to the Northern Melbourne Institute council, protests at discrimination against union activists, as well as a management campaign designed to crush the student union. It calls for the reinstatement of three communication skills teachers, including the union sub-branch president, Alison Thorne, who was retrenched earlier this year.
Management hired new casual staff to teach communication skills classes while claiming the teachers were "in excess". The petition also calls on management to return the resources it stripped from the student union.
A team of union members from Northern TAFE, Western TAFE and RMIT spoke to delegates from all sectors of the union about the issues and solicited active support for the campaign.
Thorne, a conference delegate, said, "The petition is just one part of a highly visible campaign designed to let the public know about the discrimination and union-busting activities practised by management at the institute".
The campaign will be run in conjunction with legal action alleging discrimination based on union activity.
The campaign committee plans to hold regular street stalls around the northern suburbs and to collect at least 1000 signatures before the institute's open day on August 21.
To help the campaign, contact the Reinstate the Northern Three Campaign Committee, c/ PO Box 266, West Brunswick 3055 or telephone Alison Thorne on (03) 9386 5065.