A TAFE restructure that has allegedly resulted in the loss of 26 jobs from Orange has been slammed by union representatives, with a warning there is more to come.
NSW Teachers’ Federation TAFE organiser Kathy Nicholson said the current restructure in TAFE NSW Western Institute will mean 13 people will lose their jobs and the Primary Industries Skills Unit that will be deleted from Orange will take another 13 jobs out of Orange.
However a Department of Education and Communities spokesperson said in a statement TAFE was reviewing its central support functions and as part of the review TAFE was consulting on a suggestion to move education support functions to its 10 institutions across the state.
He said every effort was being made to minimise the impact on frontline services and that the exact number of jobs lost or gained will not be known under after the review is finalised.
Ms Nicholson said the financial impact of the loss of the wages was $1,347,332.
“Add to this amount the potential loss of spouse or partner incomes if the officer does relocate to Sydney or another institute,” she said.
However Ms Nicholson said this was just the tip of the iceberg and that with the introduction of Smart and Skilled in July more job losses were to come and 40 per cent of funding would be stripped.
The department spokesperson said in a statement the claim was merely speculation and that the Smart and Skilled restructure would improve quality for students, employers and consumers.
Smart and Skilled will change the way vocational education and training is funded in NSW, with TAFEs competing with private training providers for students in an open training market.
TAFE bosses have already been forced to tighten their belts after $1.7 billion in state government cuts to school and TAFE spending.
The government spokesperson said the system would clearly set out the government’s expectations for quality training by quality providers for students undertaking government subsidised training, not just at TAFE.
Ms Nicholson said she feared the independent pricing review currently underway would mean TAFE could not compete and teaching staff would be lost and the cost of courses would increase making TAFE unattainable.
“Some courses won’t be funded by the government,” she said.
“Student will have to take out loans to be able to afford to do courses.