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Labor says education staff cut in Grafton is really 10%

LOSING 1.5 jobs from the Grafton regional office of the NSW Department of Education is a lot worse than it sounds, says the Labor Party.

The ALP duty Member of the Legislative Council for the Clarence, Amanda Fazio said the 1.5 jobs actually represent a cut of more than 10% from the staffing in Grafton.

She said the cuts have been spread around the state, but some areas, such as Coffs Harbour, which will lose all 18 positions, will be hit much harder.

"It's part of their tactics to make the cuts look quite small in different areas, but overall it's part of a campaign to cut 361 education experts and teachers from 54 locations around the State," Ms Fazio said.

"These are outrageous cuts that will strip teachers and support staff out of the Grafton region

"Sacking education experts and curriculum specialists from our area will mean less support and assistance for classroom teachers."

Ms Fazio said the cuts also disproved the O'Farrell Government's claim that schools won't be affected, with many of the staff located on school grounds around the State."

The loss of local teachers and support staff was made public on the same day it was revealed the O'Farrell Government had wasted $100,000 changing the name of the Department of Education and Training to the Department of Education and Communities.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said that while losing any jobs in the area in the current climate was not desirable, the jury was out on how it would affect education.

"The cuts are in line with the government's Local Schools Local Decisions policy," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Schools will have to be responsible for the administrative roles these people would have performed in the past."

He said some of the cuts would force teachers back to the classroom.

"I've been told many of the people whose jobs are going to be cut are trained teachers. The cuts could mean these people will be back in teaching roles."

Mr Gulaptis would not be drawn on the argument forcing teachers to do administrative tasks would affect their performance in the classroom.

"It's an argument, but it's something we're going to have to review, say in a year's time," he said.

"This is something private schools have been dealing with for a long time."

Topics:  education, labor, staff cuts



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