22 January 2015

Protest and publicise the attacks on TAFE 
Stop work – 29 January 2015

All QTU TAFE members in the institutes listed below are hereby directed to stop work for a period of 2 hours from 9am – 11am on Thursday 29 January 2015:

  • Brisbane (excluding Caboolture and Grovely)
  • East Coast (excluding Maryborough and Bundaberg)
  • Gold Coast
  • North (excluding Mt Isa)
  • Skills Tech
  • South West.

Last year members were balloted for industrial action on a site-by-site basis for either a 24 hours or a 2 hours stop-work.  In looking at the results from the ballots, there was greater support for a two hour stop-work.

With a state election in progress, it has been decided that all members in sites that supported the action should stop work at the same time and prior to the election.

Rallies

Rallies of QTU TAFE members will be held in the following locations during the stoppage.

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 Fullham Road, Townsville 9.00am

These rallies are an important part of drawing public attention to the plight of TAFE, and attendance is vital.  If you can’t physically attend a rally, make sure your action is visible.

Attached is a flyer, suitable for public use that summarises the track record of the LNP on TAFE.

Background

TAFE Council called for the ballots for industrial action at its meeting on 22 November last year to focus on the impact of LNP policies in TAFE, including  redundancies, loss of programs, costs to students, closure of facilities, and stealing TAFE campuses and associated equipment through the QTAMA process.

Members have supported the stop work action because:

  • the state government funding policy has increased costs to students, making many courses unaffordable
  • the withdrawal of funding from many vocational areas disadvantages students who wish to undertake those careers
  • funding has been withdrawn from literacy and numeracy courses for people with disabilities
  • the government has abdicated responsibility for quality control of RTOs accessing state training funding
  • the removal of assets from TAFE Qld control has forced TAFE to withdraw services from communities and subsequently pay exorbitant rental to retain access
  • hundreds of teachers, educational support workers and other staff have lost their jobs across TAFE Queensland.

Attached is a copy of a letter that can be provided to students affected by the stoppage. Institute directors and TAFE Queensland will be formally informed of the stoppage. All members should make every effort to attend the local stop work meeting.

ALP election policy

On Tuesday, 20 January, as part of its campaign launch, the ALP announced a rescue package for TAFE.

At a park near Grovely TAFE on Wednesday 21 January, QTU members rallied with Together and the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) for the official launch of the policy by ALP leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, spokesperson Yvette D’Ath and local candidate, Jeff Frew. 

The policy promises that a Labor government will:

  • invest $34 million in TAFE Queensland to employ up to 100 new full-time equivalent roles including both teaching and support positions
  • subsidise courses to increase the number of courses available through VET in schools
  • enable TAFE campuses around the state to deliver foundation skills courses for disadvantaged learners
  • repeal the QTAMA legislation and complete a review of all of Queensland’s training assets, including their usage
  • establish and fund an independent training ombudsman to investigate complaints made about training organisations in Queensland
  • scrap the LNP’s flawed plans for "full contestability" in the VET sector.

While the policy doesn’t reverse all the cuts, it is the first positive policy position on TAFE for a number of years – especially around TAFE assets and contestable funding.

The policy can be found at http://annastacia.com.au/labor-policies/


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union