How the NSW Government attacked the working rights of TAFE employees

The NSW Government is attacking the wages, conditions and rights of TAFE employees, and with this comes the real risk that these Government employees will lose their rights at work.

Late last year, TAFE general staff were booted out of the NSW Industrial Relations system and pushed into the federal Fair Work system. In the process the O’Farrell Government removed protection on most wages and conditions that TAFE staff had worked hard to fight for and retain over many years – but is still trying to limit pay increases to 2.5% according to the NSW Government wages policy.

The result of these changes means that TAFE workers are getting the short straw. As they are about to enter a year of Enterprise Bargaining, they are left with just five basic conditions – salary, penalty rates, allowances, leave entitlements and length of shift. This is designed to place downward pressure on workers pay and conditions before the negotiating period.

This was done without any consultation with staff or the union.

Until the new enterprise agreement is negotiated, TAFE employees are in a precarious position. All non-protected conditions such as flex time and meal breaks, could be removed at the drop of hat.

We need a strong campaign to make sure all the current conditions are picked up in the new enterprise agreement.

This is not good faith bargaining. This is not a fair go. And the PSA and the CPSU will fight for its members to protect fair wages and good working conditions at Our TAFE.