24-hour protest: SuniTAFE workers may strike over $300m cuts

SOME workers at SuniTAFE are expected to walk off the job today in support of a 24-hour protest against the Victorian Government’s $300 million TAFE cuts.

The Australian Education Union yesterday called on its TAFE members to take part in a 24-hour unprotected strike.

SuniTAFE’S National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) representative Rachel Neumann said yesterday it would be up to individual workers to determine whether they would stop work today.

The action comes less than a week after documents detailing plans to sell TAFE assets, close campuses, increase fees and cut staff were leaked to the media, severely embarrassing the Baillieu Government.

Ms Neumann said the plans leaked last week posed a giant threat to the future of TAFE.

“The leaked documents show the extent of the damage being done to TAFE across Victoria,” she said.

“It’s an issue the entire community should get involved in.

“If people don’t come out and support it now, there might not be a TAFE in the future.”

Ms Neumann said most of the “big changes” at SuniTAFE had taken effect in May, when 26 workers at campuses in Mildura and Swan Hill were made redundant.

About $3 million was slashed from SuniTAFE’s operating budget.

“SuniTAFE management have been very transparent about where the changes have been made, but hopefully now we can get the government to sit up and take some notice about what is happening,” Ms Neumann said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Thursday's Sunraysia Daily 20/09/2012.

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