Concerns have been raised about the future of Tasmania's teachers after the state government announced a plan to overhaul TasTAFE as part of a $135 million skills and training package.
Tuesday's announcement of the TAFE Implementation Plan follows the government's promise to commit $37.6 million to employ an additional 100 teachers over the next four years.
Australian Education Union Tasmania TAFE president Simon Bailey said the government's plan was a confused and baseless attack on teachers and staff.
"This document is a blatant attack on teachers and TasTAFE support staff, it shows utter contempt by calling us 'trainers', suggesting we should be deregistered and seeks to employ casual or contract staff," he said.
Under the current agreement, teachers were employed under the TasTAFE Teaching Staff Industrial Agreement. However, the transition plan recommends TasTAFE be ree-stablished as a government business with the authority given to its board of directors to employ its workforce under the Fair Work Act.
"This is privatisation plain and simple - removing every TasTAFE teacher from the public service and dumping them onto the same employment system as 7-Eleven and McDonald's is no way to respect highly experienced, qualified and registered teachers," Mr Bailey said.
Skills, Training and Workforce Growth Minister Sarah Courtney said the plan outlined a process for TasTAFE to transition to a government business model that would better suit learners and businesses. She said the consultation period was ongoing and would seek input from the industry, learners and employers.
Mr Bailey said since a discussion about privatisation five months ago, the AEU, teachers and TasTAFE support staff have not been consulted.
He said he welcomed the additional funding but changes to the employment structure could undermine the long-term benefits.
"New teachers are exactly what we need to deliver what our students and industries are asking for, but you can't attract 100 new teachers from industries that have good conditions and wages by attacking and disrespecting the teaching profession," he said.
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