Federation’s 14,000-signature petition was tabled in the NSW parliament today in a bid to stop the Baird government from privatising gaol education.
In receiving the weighty folders of petition papers from Federation members Rob Long, Stewart Burkitt and Kit Shepherd at Parliament House, Shadow Minister for Corrections Guy Zangari thanked the Federation officers and activists for ‘the great work you’ve done’.
“The people have spoken and 14,000 people have signed this petition. I have the honour of presenting this to parliament,” Mr. Zangari said. “This is an opportunity to have the government come out and explain why it is doing this – why is it privatising education in prisons?”
He condemned the move to get rid of 138 out of 158 “highly-trained and highly-experienced teachers” to make way for contract trainers who are inexperienced in adult prison education and who will not be required to hold teaching qualifications.
“There is no guarantee that the private providers won’t just come in cram the inmates into classrooms, tick off competencies, grab their money and run,” Mr Zangari pointed out.
Federation Organiser Rob Long told media covering the event that Premier Mike Baird was “under enormous pressure now for all the ridiculous decisions he’s made about privatising public services”. He gave notice that Federation would be lobbying Liberal and National MPs, particularly those with Correction Centres in their electorates, to reverse the gaol education decision.
Caption: Labor's Guy Zangari, left, takes the folders of petitions to table in parliament.