19 November 2012
The O'Farrell government is launching another assault on TAFE. As part of
the enterprise bargaining process for 2013, management is pushing for the
creation of a paraprofessional grade, paid $13,600 a year less than
teachers but with many of the same duties.
('TAFE positions slammed' SMH 19 Nov 2012 p2 http://j.mp/smh121119)
The O'Farrell government has already announced plans to abandon TAFE into
competition with low quality private providers and massive budget cuts,
including the loss of 800 positions including teachers and a 9.5% increase
The latest move is an attempt to cut costs by undermining TAFE teacher
salaries. Students will be denied the right to be taught by a professional
with experience and detailed subject knowledge.
TAFE NSW's Information Sheet 3 "A strong Future for TAFE" (
http://j.mp/TAFEinfo3, made available on 7 November 2012), outlines a
number of new educator positions to be created including a Tutor/Instructor
The T/I2 would conduct training and assessment, tasks that are currently
undertaken by teachers. They would present courses according to a
"pre-designed training program" using "existing resources and would not
develop course, curriculum or program resources and learning materials."
TI/2 qualification requirements would be certificate IV in training and
"demonstrated vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered
and assessed". A teacher is expected to have detailed subject knowledge
beyond the specific topic being taught.
Teachers on step 13 (4 years of experience) earn $86,878.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "The O'Farrell government is picking up where
Labor left off in downgrading the professionalism of TAFE teachers.
"TAFE students will be denied the right to be taught by a professional with
detailed subject knowledge that goes beyond just delivering a pre-designed
package. This is the next step in the race to the bottom in salaries and
expertise in skills training, with appalling consequences for students,
teachers and the future of the state's economy.
"In 2008 the NSW Labor government downgraded the qualifications required of
TAFE teachers from a university graduate diploma to a certificate 4. Now
the Coalition is pushing to have instructors who only know a little more
than the students deliver courses.
"Education Minister Adrian Piccoli needs to explain why he would downgrade
the professional skills in an organisation that is designed to increase the
"The O'Farrell and Gillard governments are pushing TAFE into competition
for students and funding. Introducing paraprofessional trainers who don't
know much more than the students they are teaching is the next step
towards forcing TAFE to become just another low quality, low cost
"The objective is to replace qualified and knowledgeable teachers with
lower paid paraprofessionals to cut costs, regardless of the short and long
term consequences. This is the irresponsible move of a government that
cannot see beyond the next budget bottom line.
"Adrian Piccoli has failed to protect TAFE from budget cuts and now it is
clear this will have unacceptable consequences for students, teachers and
the future of the state's economy," Dr Kaye said.
John Kaye, Greens MP