TasTAFE educator Fiona Thollar is stressed, scared and fears the State Government’s plan to privatise TAFE could jeopardise her job.
“I’m part of a team of about 19 health workers and we are all tired and scared about what the future holds,” the aged care educator said.
Ms Thollar – an AEU member of 17 years and TAFE Division Rep – said she had been left “totally guttered” by the Liberal Party’s privatisation plan and said it created more questions than answers.
“Like myself, there are many others in my team in their late 50s fearing how things will play out. It’s a terrible position to be in,” she said.
“There are many unknowns such as – will redundancies be offered? If so, will they be targeted?
“Will there be certain areas of TAFE sold off first like Hydro?”
Ms Thollar – who for the past four years arrived on site at 6.30am to teach at a Huon aged care facility – said Premier Gutwein’s comments about flexible learning at TAFE was disrespectful to TAFE teachers who worked over and above for their students and industries.
“Everyone working in my team would work 10-15 hours overtime weekly, whether through marking or at-home coordination,” she said.
“I’d come in to work at 6.30am ready for the students to start at 6.45am.
“Everything being proposed is going to negate the quality of learning. We work in this area because we care about the wellbeing of the people we’re looking after and the student body.
“The Government has been spruiking that there will be no big changes under these proposed TAFE plans, but I have big concerns about TAFE remaining a viable option for low income earners – which is what vocational education is all about.”
AEU State Manager Brian Wightman said Fiona and all TasTAFE teachers deserve an apology from the Premier.
“Not only is Peter Gutwein blaming teachers for his own Government’s failings, he has left them with great uncertainty around their jobs and futures.”
“The Premier should apologise, withdraw his TAFE privatisation plan and sit down