Victorians say no to TAFE cuts
16 July 2012
The AEU, NTEU and Swinburne Student Union will rally with staff and students at Swinburne University's Lilydale campus today to protest the Baillieu Government's $300 million budget cuts to the public TAFE sector.
Swinburne University had $35 million cut from its budget and last week announced its decision to close its Lilydale campus and make 240 jobs redundant.
AEU Victorian Branch President Mary Bluett urges students, staff and the community to come out in support today and show the Baillieu Government that the devastation it's caused across Victoria is unacceptable.
"At Swinburne, there will be 120 teacher job losses and a further 100 teacher contracts not renewed, and many sessional teachers will also not be offered work in the future," Bluett says.
"The 2,500 students currently enrolled at the Lilydale campus will be forced to move to an alternative campus or discontinue their studies.
"The State Government must be held accountable for the job losses, course cancellations, campus closures and fee increases for students that they have caused. It is estimated that 2000 TAFE staff across Victoria will be made redundant as a result of the funding cuts.
"It is time that the government stopped blaming and punishing TAFE staff and students for the greed and excesses of the private companies that caused the budget blowout last year.
"The Government should be committing to a well-resourced, high quality TAFE sector and encouraging learning, not making it harder for students."
NTEU Victorian Secretary Dr Colin Long said the NTEU says serious action would need to be taken at Swinburne because Baillieu had stripped $35 million in education funding from the institute's funding.
"However, these closures show the nonsense rhetoric of Ted Baillieu, Peter Hall and the other Liberal and National politicians as callous and empty," he says.
"Today is a sad day for public education in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Students, staff and the wider community must direct their anger at a State Government out of touch and out of control.
"NTEU will renew its energies to ensure the Baillieu Government is a one-term government. This is a gross act of community vandalism by the Baillieu Government.
"Liberal MPs near Lilydale and Prahran, such as Christine Fyffe, David Hodgett and Clem Newton-Brown, clearly do not care for or understand the value of our Swinburne University," Dr Long says.