Geelong TAFE students miss out if govt slashes teacher conditions

TAFE teachers and supporters will rally outside Gayle Tierney’s office tomorrow to protest the Andrews government’s attempt to slash TAFE teachers working conditions.

This rally will support the targeted advertising campaign the Australian Education Union has launched in the Geelong area, including billboards and newspaper advertisements.

“TAFE teachers are the bedrock of our education and training system. They are passionate about making sure their students get the best possible training and employment outcomes,” says Meredith Peace, president of AEU Victoria.

The Andrews government wants to increase TAFE teacher annual class facing hours by almost 20%.

"TAFE teachers are already stretched, working on average 6.8 hours of overtime per week with unsustainable levels of administration and compliance work," says Peace. "This work stress means 75% of TAFE teachers have considered walking away from their job.

“TAFE teachers are already working excessive overtime and this means teachers have even less time to prepare lessons and provide students with the highest quality education and training. When teachers miss out, students miss out too."

Youth unemployment in Geelong is currently at 10%. Peace says this won’t improve if the Andrews government makes it increasingly difficult for TAFE teachers to provide students with the skills, training and support they need to get a job.

“TAFE teachers are stretched to their limit. Chronic underfunding of Victoria’s education and training sector has meant TAFE teacher workloads have been steadily increasing. Ninety percent of TAFE teachers say their administration and compliance workload has increased in the last 12 months. This leaves them less time to plan classes for their students.

“Our TAFE teachers are paid $10,000 less than NSW TAFE teachers. Victorian TAFEs receive the highest proportion of income from student fees, not Government funding.

The privatisation of Victoria’s training system has failed, and it’s the students and teachers who are missing out. Daniel Andrews was elected because he promised to save TAFE. Abandoning TAFE teachers and expecting them to agree to an enterprise deal that strips their working conditions is not saving TAFE and nor is it in the interests of students and the Victorian community,” says Peace.

TAFE TEACHERS GEELONG RALLY 
Tuesday December 12, 4.30pm
Gayle Tierney's Office: 1 Yarra St, Geelong

Key data from AEU Victoria's 2017 State of our TAFEs survey, released December 1:

  • TAFE teachers work on average 6.8 hours of unpaid overtime per week
  • 90% of TAFE teachers say their administrative workload had increased over the last 12 months
  • 75% of TAFE teachers said they had considered leaving their job in the last 12 months
  • Nearly 60% of TAFE teachers reported that there had been hours shaved off their classes’ nominal course hours, allocating less time for direct contact with students
  • 80% of teachers did not believe that the needs of students were always taken into account when courses are designed
  • Nearly 45% of teachers said the range of courses available at their TAFE had dropped compared to last year, with only 7% saying their course range had increased
  • Over 85% of teachers believed the quality of education delivered at their TAFE was being affected by lack of funding
  • See full report at www.aeuvic.asn.au/state-our-tafes-2017

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