MEDIA RELEASE 15 JUNE 2022: CIT funding cuts
Federal government cuts, not consultancy fees, are the greatest concern for CIT teachers.
Today, CIT teachers made clear their view that the federal government’s funding cuts, not consultancy fees, are the greatest concern for CIT teachers.
At a meeting of elected teacher representatives, the AEU ACT Branch TAFE Council passed a motion calling for the federal government to stop cutting funding and use public TAFEs like CIT to help our communities rebuild in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers resolved that:
“Teachers at CIT have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure that our community has the skilled workforce it needs. CIT teachers have trained essential workers in fields like health, aged care and construction with minimal additional resourcing because they knew that was what our community needed them to do.
While teachers and support staff at CIT have done this vital work, the federal government has cut more than $3 billion in funding from TAFE and training since 2013, including the nearly half a billion cut in 2018 and 2019 alone.
CIT teachers call on the Albanese government to:
- guarantee a minimum of 70% of total government funding to the public TAFE system
- abolish the contestable funding policy settings and deliver on infrastructure and workforce commitments.”
AEU ACT Branch Secretary, Patrick Judge, said that the funding shortfalls were being felt in the ACT despite the efforts of the ACT government to shield CIT from the worst of the federal government’s cuts.
“These funding cuts hurt teachers, they hurt students and, ultimately, they hurt our community,” said Mr Judge. “We have all been impacted by skills shortages, whether it’s not being able to find a tradesperson or seeing how overstretched our aged and health care facilities are because there aren’t enough qualified staff. The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of the outgoing federal government. It is up to the Albanese government to fix it.”
“In these circumstances, teachers understand why CIT has sought change management expertise. CIT is in a fight for its survival due to the federal government’s cuts, as are all public TAFEs around the country.” Mr Judge said.
“Covid has put teachers under enormous pressure and the funding situation is making it difficult to put on extra staff to help with the workload,” said CIT teacher and AEU ACT Branch Vice President Karen Noble. “What teachers need is for CIT to be properly funded to ensure that we are providing high quality education to our students. It is disheartening to know that we need to put on extra staff to meet the needs of our students, who are training to be essential workers, and to be told that there is not enough money.”
Teachers also expect that CIT’s funding is spent in the public interest and on the basis of obtaining good value for money. There is no excuse for poor procurement practices and teachers expect that CIT procurement meets the highest ethical standards. The CIT Board and its CEO must be held to the same standard that they expect of CIT teachers when spending public funds.
“Teachers are, rightly, concerned about any suggestion that CIT’s funding is not being spent in accordance with good practice or value for money. However, they are more concerned by the federal funding cuts that are ripping the heart out of the TAFE sector,” Mr Judge said. “We call on the Albanese government to act to address TAFE funding and ensure that Australia has the skills it needs for the future.”
Media contact: Patrick Judge, Ph: (02) 6272 7900, firstname.lastname@example.org