The AEU has today written to the Premier calling on him to conduct an independent root-and-branch investigation of TasTAFE management, policies and practices to restore confidence in the organisation.
The call comes in the wake of a damning Integrity Commission Report that found nepotism was rife in the organisation.
“The State Government’s response to the Integrity Commission report has so far been wholly inadequate. Nothing short of a root-and-branch, independent investigation is needed to restore confidence in TasTAFE,” said Damian von Samorzewski, AEU Tasmanian TAFE Division President.
“We have been concerned about the culture for some time and this has been raised with managers and also identified in internal TasTAFE reports, but the Government has failed to act, said Damian.
“The independent external investigation needs to delve into management, policies and practices and the findings, where possible, made public.
“Minister Rockliff’s announcement of a simple audit will do nothing to restore confidence in the organisation or get to the heart of a myriad of issues that our members, and other employees, have been raising for some time.”
The AEU seeks involvement in the development of the scope of the investigation but as a minimum it should include:
- TasTAFE culture since the amalgamation of the Tasmanian Skills Institute and the Polytechnic, specifically investigating nepotism.
- Staffing which includes:
- Their health and wellbeing
- Organisational structures
- All TasTAFE procedures and polices – not just the documents but how staff are advised of such documents and how they are implemented in practice.
- The knowledge of managers in relation to industrial relations and their adherence to legal requirements such as awards and agreements.
- The impact of decisions made by senior management – who do not have a deep understanding of effective teaching and learning practices – on programs, students, staff and industry stakeholders.
- All staff selection within TasTAFE, over the last three years.
- TasTAFE’s compliance with ASQA.
- The governance arrangements in place for the TasTAFE board.
- The internal and external complaints process to ensure natural justice principles are undertaken and at arm’s length to TasTAFE.
- All complaints or grievance investigations undertaken by TasTAFE, during the past CEO’s tenure
“TasTAFE employees and students need support during this difficult time and for the Premier to ensure that all issues are investigated in a thorough, open and transparent way to restore integrity and confidence in this vital public VET provider, ” said Damian.
Harriet Binet, AEU Communications 0427 841 760