Banks targetted in TAFE campaign

The federal electorate of Banks was the main focus of a targeted week of action in the continuing Stop TAFE Cuts campaign.

Beginning 27 August, Federation members were joined by members of the Public Service Association, retired union activists, TAFE graduates and local community members in events and activities held across the electorate; including handing out leaflets at train stations, letter-box drops and street stalls.

A Stop TAFE Cuts rally was held outside the office of David Coleman, the federal Member for Banks, on the Tuesday.

The rally was well attended and vocal in demanding guaranteed funding for public TAFE and the end of savage cuts that have resulted in the campus in the electorate, Padstow, losing whole teaching sections such as Commercial Cookery, Automotive, Information Technology, Business Administration and part of the Aeroskills course.

The rally raised concerns about the devastating loss of teaching positions from the college.

In tandem with the week of action in Banks, Federation worked with Shoalhaven Unions and the Change the Rules team to run TAFE-themed street stalls in Bega, Sanctuary Point and Nowra.

A rally outside Bega TAFE was well attended by union members and TAFE students protesting against the posited closure and sale of the Bega TAFE site.

A Joint Unions Action Day, with a focus on Stop TAFE Cuts, was held in Queanbeyan on 29 August.

Member for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly and Labor candidate for the state seat of Monaro Bryce Wilson addressed the gathering of some 40 unionists from Teachers Federation, Public Service Association, Electrical Trades Union, Australian Workers Union, ACT AEU, Vintage Reds (retired activists), Unions ACT and Unions NSW. Mr Kelly also signed the TAFE pledge.

The Stop TAFE Cuts week of action culminated in the Change the Rules door knock in Banks on 1 September. About 140 union members, activists and retired members participated in the door knock.

Annette Bennett, TAFE Campaign Coordinator