Failing On All Fronts24th OCT 2012 - John Quessy
The IEU calls on all school employers to recoup at least some part of revenue lost through increased school fees and to identify this increase on fee accounts as an O'Farrell levy.
The decision by the O'Farrell Government to strip $1.7billion from school education in this state is regressive; wrong minded and will do irreparable damage to the education opportunities for a generation of our students.
This policy is opposed by the IEU and will I believe be identified by clear-thinking people as deficient public policy based on disordered priorities.
Catholic and independent schools are to have their funding frozen which means an immediate cut of at least 3% and potentially much greater cuts because reduced State Government spending on education feeds through to the measures used by the Commonwealth to fund our sector.
Whatever the claim about financial circumstances, the core responsibilities of state governments are health, education and public safety.
The O'Farrell Government is failing all fronts.
Claims by some local Liberal and National Party MPs that Catholic and independent schools have not had their funding cut must be exposed for the lies they are.
Claims also that 'front line' services will not be affected are also simply not true. Suggestions that removing or reducing support for teaching and learning will not have a serious impact can only be made by those who live in a fantasy land.
Our members will not accept becoming the victims of this absurd action by the Government. We will not tolerate widespread job loss, an increase in insecure work, wage cuts or the deterioration of the conditions under which we work.
Nor will we discount our reasonable expectations for wages growth in coming years. We intend to stand up against this freeze on funding and against cuts to education spending and we expect every employer in our sector to stand with us.
If Catholic and independent employers do not join this fight, fight hard and fight to the finish, they will send a very clear message to the community that they do not really need their current level of funding and can be content without it.
The IEU calls on all school employers to recoup at least some part of revenue lost through increased school fees and to identify this increase on fee accounts as an O'Farrell levy to remind parents of the contemptuous action by the Government.
In the meantime we have reminded employers of their duty to consult with the Union where decisions have been made to make changes that will have a significant effect on employees.
At our AGM we resolved that the IEU would have a zero tolerance for any employer who disrespected the Union in this regard, who attempted to avoid their responsibilities or who sought to misuse the funding freeze to their own ends.
This is only the beginning of a long campaign to overturn these decisions and if the O'Farrell Government does not act immediately to reverse these cuts, we are prepared to continue our fight to the next election and beyond.