TAFE & Adult Provision Enough is enough

Victoria’s TAFEs remain the lowest funded in the country. State and federal governments claim to have “saved TAFE” through their Free TAFE initiatives – but this only works if funding meets the cost of delivery.

Not only is Victoria not resourced to meet the cost, but government has failed to recognise those who deliver the courses – TAFE teachers. Without TAFE teachers, there is no TAFE.

Teacher shortages are affecting TAFE classrooms across the state. With higher student participation from Free TAFE initiatives, the most recent State of Our TAFEs survey shows that 54% of class sizes have increased in the last two years. This increases teacher workloads, with negative impacts on the quality of courses and students’ learning experiences, and posing OHS risks for students and teachers alike.

With skills shortages also rife across many industries, amid the increasing workloads for TAFE teachers, the failure of the Allan government to respond underlines its lack of commitment to TAFE teachers, students, and the Victorian community.

What is the government’s current offer?

The AEU commenced bargaining on 10 June 2022. Two years on, key issues of pay and workload have only amplified.

It is now 18 months since your last pay rise. Amid the cost-of-living pressures, the government and TAFEs are turning their backs on their most important resource – TAFE teachers.

Currently, the offer put forward by the government features:

  • A basic 3% wage increase each year over four years, with any further increases only available if teachers agree to increase their workload by teaching more hours.

  • In-class assessment will not be counted as teaching.

  • Nothing to address excessive workloads.

  • Nothing to properly support and recognise teaching qualifications to lift salaries.

This is unacceptable. And that is why AEU members have voted to take protected industrial action.

The necessity for work bans

Work bans commenced in April and continue to escalate as the state government fails to revise its offer.

On 17 May, the AEU TAP council voted to extend the industrial action by members at the 12 standalone TAFEs to include:

  • a ban on attending up to one hour of meetings per week

  • two one-hour stopworks to be held on 12 June

  • two one-hour stopworks to be held on 24 July

  • a 24-hour stopwork to be held on 21 August.

Time to take a stand

Members should be angry about the absolute silence we are hearing from government. It is time to take a stand, united with your colleagues, and tell the Allan government that enough is enough!

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