Social Workers cut as Rockliff Government neglect reaches new low

Ten full-time Social Workers were dropped by the Rockliff Government in its latest Agreement offer to teachers, in exchange for administration clerks intended to provide just 45 minutes of classroom support per week.

Australian Education Union Tasmania President David Genford said the Rockliff Government was treating Tasmanian public students as pawns in their war against teachers, trading off student wellbeing for time with their teacher as social workers were dropped for administration staff.

“Educators know you can’t separate student wellbeing and student learning, but we are dealing with a State Government that cares so little for public education they will trade one off for the other,” Mr Genford said.

“Teachers are taking action for our students – we need in-class support, social workers, school psychologists and more time to teach. It can’t be one or the other – our students need a boost in all these areas.”

Confirming the disrespectful approach to Tasmanian educators, State Government negotiators told a Principal Briefing today that Administration Clerks were preferred over Teacher Assistants in responding to teacher demands for in-class support. 

“The Rockliff Government is so out of touch they don’t seem to know who works in a classroom and who doesn’t,” Mr Genford said.

“The disrespect shown to educators, students and school communities is further highlighted by the State Government’s latest attempt to undermine negotiations, but we won’t be distracted from our fight for our students and the support they need.”

The latest State Government offer to teachers includes no in-class support for primary schools, high schools and colleges, the number one priority of teachers across more than 18 months of negotiations.

“No Government spin or dirty tactics will deter teachers from fighting for what matters – our students are funded more than $2,000 below the minimum standard – full funding would deliver what is required, but trading off wellbeing and student learning is unacceptable,” said Mr Genford.