Meeting of TAFE members of the NSW Teachers Federation yesterday at the Lismore Workers Club yesterday.
Meeting of TAFE members of the NSW Teachers Federation yesterday at the Lismore Workers Club yesterday. Jay Cronan

TAFE teachers stop work

MORE than 40 teachers from local TAFEs attended a three-hour stop work meeting yesterday, unanimously rejecting sweeping changes to working conditions proposed by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission which they say would boost their work-load by 20 per cent.

TAFE teachers rejected the commission’s judgment that from 2010 they be directed to work at any time between 6am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday and could be required to teach up to 35 hours or more per week with no right to refuse.

The TAFE teachers declared their preparedness to take further industrial action, including joint industrial action with teachers in public schools.

NSW Teachers Federation relieving officer John Hughes said the TAFE staff had the backing of primary and secondary teachers and would join them in further strikes in early December if the dispute was not resolved by November 21.

While further strikes would not affect school exams, a December action could have an impact on marking, he said.

“Control over TAFE teachers’ professional time has been taken away from them,” Mr Hughes said.

The NSW Teachers Federation said the 20pc increase in workload with a 1.5pc increase in pay would mean TAFE teachers would be paid $3.60 an hour for their extra time. The changes also potentially slashed teachers’ long-service leave entitlements, Mr Hughes said.

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