The Australian Education Union Tasmanian wishes well outgoing Education minister Sarah Courtney, and respects anyone’s right to prioritise their family life.
The Minister leaves behind a poor legacy in education and the AEU holds concerns that Tasmanian educators and students will miss out because of delays caused by a change in Minister.
Unfortunately, the Minister’s exit itself was misleading – claiming plans for ventilation and air purifiers were ready in schools months ago just isn’t true – Months ago the Minister was denying union demands for these measures.
A legacy of this Minister will be 900 Tasmanians kicked out of their public service positions at TasTAFE on June 30 this year. It is unfortunate that she will not be in Parliament to be accountable when this blow to public education and training occurs.
The AEU has put a comprehensive ‘Lifting Learning’ program to the State Government as part of negotiations on new workplace agreements, including more teachers, support staff and resources for schools and colleges.
The Government must not use a change of Minister to excuse any delay in improving the learning conditions of students and working conditions of our educator members – negotiations must continue straight away.
Tasmania has a serious shortage of teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, social workers, teacher assistants and support staff – this must be an immediate priority of the incoming Education minister and Government for the upcoming budget.