28 January 2015

Save TAFE for Queensland

TAFE teachers across Queensland will stop work for two hours tomorrow morning (29 January 2015) to protest and publicise the attacks on TAFE by the Queensland LNP government.

A ballot of QTU members late in 2014 supported this action in light of an unprecedented threat to the public TAFE system in Queensland. Under the Newman LNP government, a series of drastic, ideologically driven policy changes have seen overwhelmingly negative impacts on TAFE colleges right across the state.

The real and measurable impacts of these policies on TAFE include:

  • $90 million cut from the budget for vocational education and training
  • more than 1400 redundancies, including almost 600 teachers
  • loss of programs – if they are not profitable they cannot be delivered
  • massive increases in costs to students
  • loss of services – TAFE has been specifically exempted from a need to fulfil its community service obligation in favour of prioritising profitability
  • robbing TAFE campuses and associated equipment through the Queensland Training Assets Management Authority process – buildings once owned by TAFE are now operated by a for-profit statutory body
  • closure of facilities – more than 30 TAFE campuses or facilities have been closed or threatened with closure, with a heavy burden on regional Queensland.

“The implementation of these policy changes has had a disastrous impact on Queensland TAFE,” according to QTU President Kevin Bates.

“TAFE has provided a high quality public vocational education service to all Queenslanders for 132 years, and there is a real risk that these LNP policies will mean that TAFE as we know it will cease to exist within the next term of government.”

The state election on 31 January will be the last chance to have a voice on the issue of the future of TAFE, and QTU members are not prepared to be silent at this critical time.

“QTU TAFE members do not take strike action lightly. The last industrial action in TAFE was almost 20 years ago,” Mr Bates said.

“QTU TAFE members have seen their colleagues lose their jobs, campuses closed, courses cancelled and student enrolments plummet, and they fear worse to come under a re-elected LNP government.”

QTU TAFE members and supporters will attend rallies tomorrow morning to highlight this action.
Rally details:

Location Venue Time
Brisbane Executive Building 9.00am
Cairns Outside Cairns MP Gavin King's office, 46 – 50 Spence Street, Cairns 9.00am
Gold Coast Roma Park (cnr Via Roma & Verona Ave), Isle of Capri, Surfers Paradise 9.00am
Logan Riverside Park, Loganlea Road, Waterford West 9.00am
Sunshine Coast Jessica Park, Kawana 9.00am
Toowoomba Queens Park (cnr Margaret and Hume Street), Toowoomba 9.00am
Ipswich Footpath, 125 Brisbane Road, Booval 9.00am
Townsville Cnr Hugh Street and Fulham Road, Townsville 9.00am

Contact:                 Kevin Bates, QTU President - 0418789162

                              David Terauds, QTU TAFE Organiser - 0409348339