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National Tertiary Education Union media release: Victoria University staff and students stand up for TAFE at rally today against cuts
Staff and students from Victoria University will today stand up for the importance of TAFE in the face of the Baillieu Government’s $300 million cuts to the sector, at a rally at the institution’s Footscray campus.
“As dual sector institution offering TAFE and higher education qualifications, Victoria University is vital to the economic, social and educational wellbeing of the western suburbs of Melbourne,” said Colin Long, National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Victorian Secretary.
“Approximately $30 million shaved from the institution’s budget as a result of Baillieu Government’s savage cuts to TAFE.”
“This has plunged it into financial peril, threatening its very existence.”
“Fifty positions have so far been made redundant and more jobs will probably go by the end of the year.”
“These cuts threaten the university as well as the TAFE part of Victoria Uni.”
“A large number of courses are slated for closure, reducing the educational opportunities for young people in the western suburbs. Not everyone wants to be, or can be, a tradie.”
“The cuts to the University’s funding are also an attack on the citizens of the western suburbs.”
“They couldn’t come at a worse time, as jobs in manufacturing disappear and there is a real need to provide retraining opportunities and to increase education levels.”
“The hundreds of jobs within the institution that are under threat represent a significant hit to employment prospects in the western suburbs.”
“Victoria University’s TAFE operations also provides a vital social integration role for new migrants, refugees and those whose school experiences have not been positive, helping them to get a foothold in the job market and a sense of belonging in the wider society.”
Victorian and Federal politicians have to answer the question: Do they want a tertiary education facility serving Melbourne’s western suburbs? What will they do to ensure such an institution can survive and thrive?” Details of today’s rallyWhen: Today, 12pmWhere: The Rotunda, Victoria University Nicholson Street campus (in the ‘Terrain; if it rains)
The rally is being organized by the TAFE4All campaign a coalition of unions, including the NTEU and the Australian Education Union. For information and commentColin Long, NTEU Victorian Secretary: 0403 920 361Andrew Nette, NTEU Media Officer 0431 217 131