Victorian TAFE union members vote to escalate industrial action
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Victorian TAFE union members vote to escalate industrial action

Victorian TAFE union members vote to escalate industrial action

by Freya Lucas

May 22, 2024

Teachers working in Victorian TAFE settings have voted to further escalate industrial action, including stop work actions, due to what unions have termed the state government’s failure to offer fair pay rises and improved conditions.


A series of stopwork actions have been scheduled for June and July, before escalating to a 24-hour statewide stop work on Wednesday 21 August, while a ban on attending meetings has also been added to existing bans and limitations on work. 


The escalation of industrial action follows on from previous actions, which commenced in April, following two years of failed negotiations with the state government and TAFE employers to provide a fair and reasonable offer for improved pay and conditions.


“For far too long, the state government and TAFEs have neglected the concerns of TAFE teachers, with experienced TAFE teachers paid almost $8000 less than similarly experienced school teachers,” Meredith Peace, Australian Education Union (AEU) Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said. 


“The outcome of today’s vote shows that TAFE teachers are fed up with the inaction of the Allan Labor government and are willing to escalate industrial action to get a decent offer.” 


Ms Peace said TAFE teachers are burning out due to excessive and unsustainable workloads, and too many are leaving the sector to return to the sector or industry they have experience in, where they can “be paid more without the added stress and heavy workloads they’re currently dealing with.”


“This is unacceptable, particularly as Victoria deals with ongoing skills shortages that require urgent intervention from the state government. Without TAFE teachers, Victoria will not address the skills shortage,” she continued.


“Victorian TAFE teachers need to have their concerns addressed through new measures, including better recognition of and funded support for teaching qualifications, improved access to professional development, and a pay rise which values their work and retains and attracts teachers in TAFE, to address the shortage of TAFE teachers.”

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