Threat to deregister teachers' union
By Nina Murka
SYDNEY — The NSW Teachers' Federation is threatened with deregistration after refusing to call off the TAFE teachers' strike on September 1-2.
The state Industrial Relations Commission will rule on the Greiner government's deregistration demand on September 9.
The stoppage was called to protest against a new award that restricts overtime payments until a teacher has worked 20 hours face to face with students (almost an impossibility on TAFE timetables).
At the TAFE teachers' stop-work meeting on September 2, Teachers' Federation president Phil Cross said the government was "looking for an industrial relations fight" and recommended regrouping for a political/industrial campaign.
He reminded the meeting that talks with Gregor Ramsay, director of TAFECOM (the new-look TAFE board appointed by government) prior to the meeting had led to:
- the promise of a deferral of the implementation of major aspects of the new award decision;
- the setting up of working parties to examine the impact of aspects of the award, including redeployment rather than redundancy for full-time members of teaching staff;
- immediate attention to the part-time teachers' award and an urgent meeting of TAFE counsellors who have received redundancy notices.
Geoff Turnball, president of the TAFE Teachers' Association (TAFETA), pointed out that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had condemned the Greiner government's industrial relations legislation.
TAFETA members voted to cease strike action, opting instead for a work-to-rule campaign with suspension of all voluntary activities.