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Newcastle TAFE teachers to walk off the job

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Newcastle TAFE teachers will join state-wide industrial action today in the hope of securing better funding and security within the profession.

The staff is set to walk off the job for 24 hours on Wednesday 2 November.

It follows a fortnight of one-hour work stoppages across the region at Hunter Street TAFE, Glendale TAFE, Muswellbrook TAFE and Hamilton TAFE.

The NSW Teachers Federation members are calling on the NSW Government and TAFE to address enduring concerns regarding declining pay, conditions, job security and quality of training, in addition to privatisation and rampant underfunding.

“Approximately 70% of TAFE teachers are in casual, precarious employment while the average pay is now 7% behind that of public school teachers,” a spokesperson said.

“The number of workers employed by TAFE has nearly halved over the past decade.

“Yet, exhausted teachers are expected to take on ever-increasing, unmanageable workloads.”

The general strike also has the full support of Hunter Workers, according to secretary Leigh Shears.

“TAFE teachers undertake the impossible struggle of providing quality vocational training while being desperately under-resourced and underfunded,” he said.

“Investing in these workers and sufficiently funding the TAFE sector is central to successful skills development and industry growth of the Hunter region.

“The NSW Liberal government’s crippling privatisation agenda must end.

“It’s time we have a state government who will commit to supporting TAFE rather than selling it off.”

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