Members stop work to fight for TAFE's future
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 6, 16 August 2019, page no. 15
The QTU is proud of the decisive action undertaken by members of our TAFE division in taking protected industrial action and walking off the job for two hours on 30 July.
QTU Vice-President Cresta Richardson hosted a statewide online meeting that linked TAFE members throughout the state and called for changes to whole-of-government policies that directly impact on the financial sustainability of Queensland TAFE and the working conditions of TAFE educators.
QTU TAFE Division members across the state came together to stream the online meeting in a local QTU hosted event or organised gatherings of local members in regional and remote locations.
QTU President Kevin Bates reminded members of the proud 130-year shared history of the QTU, TAFE and their communities delivering the training that Queenslanders can trust. The current Queensland Government policy, a relic of the Newman years, is resulting in chronic underfunding of TAFE, and in the fight for the future of TAFE, the QTU has called on the Queensland Government to guarantee TAFE funding at 70 per cent of the state’s training budget.
QTU TAFE Division members have been working in branches and with officers of the Union to deliver improved working conditions so that TAFE Queensland can recruit and retain the best TAFE educators.
Our EB10 campaign seeks pay increases that are comparable with interstate colleagues, improved access to permanent employment that accords with the whole-of-government employment security policy, urgent changes to whole-of-government policy to address gender employment inequity and the casualisation of TAFE Queensland’s workforce, and supporting measures that ensure TAFE educators can focus on teaching rather than attending to ever increasing administrative tasks.
The meeting heard from QTU officers as well as rank and file members. Jenny Trevino, QTU TAFE Executive member, discussed the employer’s initial response to the QTU log of claims and subsequent formal offer from TAFE Queensland. Both were rejected by QTU TAFE Executive. Jenny also spoke passionately about the importance of securing TAFE educators improved access to permanent employment. Merv King, Gandu Jarjum TAFE delegate, spoke of the real time opportunity to roll initiatives that TAFE Queensland has already committed to in its Reconciliation Action Plan into a replacement enterprise agreement. Tara Rohl, QTU TAFE Council delegate, reported on the significant challenges of spiralling workload and work intensification, particularly as it is experienced by educators at TAFE Queensland Online.
Scott Tibaldi, Executive member, outlined resolutions that TAFE Queensland members were then encouraged to support in an online ballot. At the time this Journal went to print, the results of the ballot were unknown, however a report will be provided on the QTU website at www.qtu.asna.u/eb10