Education jobs on the line

THE New South Wales Government will axe 1800 jobs from education and push up TAFE fees in an attempt to save $1.7 billion over the next four years.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said while teachers in public schools would not lose their jobs, savings of $201 million were needed in 2012-13 alone.

He also revealed non-government schools would have their funding capped for four years starting from 2013-14 to achieve a saving of $116 million.

"The intention of these changes is that the impact on non-government schools is the same as government schools of around 3%," Mr Piccoli said.

"I am the minister for all schools so I've taken the decision that the savings measures should be spread across all funding programs and grants across the education portfolio except teachers in (public) schools which have been quarantined from the labour expenses cap.

"There has to be a shared impact of these savings measures and I have asked the director-general to ensure the impacts on education will be minimised by as much as possible.

"These changes include reducing staff working more efficiently within reduced operating budgets, adjusting non-government school sector funding and increasing revenue from fees and services."

Under the proposed changes, 600 jobs will go over the next four years in a restructure of state and regional education offices.

Mr Piccoli said consultation would take place over the coming months to determine how these offices were "realigned".

The government could not reveal whether this move would result in regional offices being closed.

About 800 jobs will be shed from the state's TAFE colleges on top of a 9.5% fee hike from January 1.

The government will almost double the student concession fee from $53 to $100, while the annual fee for apprentices and trainees will jump from $436 to $478.

Aboriginal students will continue to be exempt from paying fees, while disabled students get one course fee-free per year.

NSW Teachers Federation president Maurie Mulheron said the decision was a "disgrace" and would "cost the government seats" at the next election.

"People will not forget," Mr Mulheron said.

"It (the government) has no commitment to supporting quality public education. The government has been misleading the community by repeatedly stating that its Local Schools Local Decisions policy is not about cutting funding to public education. The truth has now been revealed.

"While teachers in classrooms will apparently be left alone for now, this is not the case for teachers providing essential support in curriculum and other areas, or TAFE teachers."

TAFE FEE HIKES

How much full year fees will rise for various TAFE NSW qualifications:

  • Advanced Diploma: up $150 (to $1720)
  • Diploma: up $124 ($1432)
  • Cert IV: up $94 ($1078)
  • Cert III: up $69 ($793)
  • Cert II and I: up $44 ($506)
  • Apprentices/trainees: up $38 ($478)

* The concession fees for all courses will increase from $53 to $100.



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