Teachers, parents fight 'joke' cuts

ABOUT 500 parents and teachers held a rally in Albury yesterday to show their anger at job cuts in the education sector.

NSW Teachers Federation Riverina organiser Deb Marten said the loss of the equivalent of 20.8 positions from the Wagga office — which covers Albury — was “a joke”.

Two full-time positions will go at the Albury office – which has 14 positions – next month. The Griffith office will lose 8.5 positions.

Ms Marten said that with literary consultants and curriculum specialists losing their jobs, there would be only one subject consultant outside of Sydney.

“It’s cutting support for teachers,” she said.

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Ms Marten said the community didn’t understand the full impact of the cuts.

Lisa Denton, a teacher at Lavington Public and the mother of two primary-school boys, said the cuts were “scary”.

“I’m concerned about my kids’ future; they’re going to have no resources and underfunded schools,” she said.

About 3000 people joined a Sydney protest over NSW slashing $1.7 million from public and private schools and TAFE colleges. The cuts involve 1800 jobs.

Opposition Leader John Robertson said the rally was a “groundswell of public opinion” against the cuts.

“Parents, teachers and the community are saying these cuts cannot be justified,” he said.

Mr Robertson urged the government to wind back the cuts in the wake of an apparent $1 billion budget accounting mistake.

“The O’Farrell government found the Treasurer Mike Baird made a $1 billion mistake in the budget,” he said.

“That billion should be going straight into the education system.”

But the Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the protest would not alter anything.

“In difficult budget times the responsible thing to do is to take measures in the back office, to make sure we’ve got the dollars to invest in the front line,” he said.

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