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Teachers vote on action

Tuesday, 5th March, 2013

Over 5,000 TAFE teachers across NSW, including Broken Hill, are currently voting on protected action in support of their current enterprise agreement negotiations.

Jim Nolan, Australian Education Union (NSW branch) representative said ballot papers have been mailed out to all NSW TAFE members of the AEU.

Mr Nolan said the TAFE teachers have a few days this week to vote, to allow for return postage.

"The NSW Department of Education is asking for lower level classifications of instructor/tutor to be included in the enterprise agreement," he said.

"TAFE teachers are understandably concerned this will lead to less qualified staff, doing work traditionally undertaken by TAFE teachers."

Mr Nolan said the application for protected action does not mean the union will stop negotiating in the enterprise agreement.

"TAFE has rejected the union's claim for a 2.5 per cent pay increase with no changes to the current enterprise agreement," he said.

"We want students' learning conditions and teachers' working conditions protected in the new enterprise agreement."

Mr Nolan said the AEU is strongly encouraging members to vote "yes" to the full list of actions. A "yes" vote will authorise the union to choose the most appropriate action from the list should it be necessary. The list includes a variety of actions from a simple "work to rule" through to strike action if needed.

"The main thing our members want is to protect the current teaching and learning conditions for our students and communities," Mr Nolan said.

"TAFE teachers are not asking for any more pay than the government is offering, we are simply trying to keep TAFE as we know it for our students and communities."

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