Riverina TAFE teachers axed

TWO Albury TAFE teachers will lose their jobs and a cloud remains over other teaching positions at southern Riverina campuses.

The move follows a restructure that will see 16 job losses across the institute.

A range of less popular courses will be consolidated in what institute director Kerry Penton says is necessary to reflect student numbers.

“Courses won’t be cut, it’s just about adjusting staffing numbers to reflect demand in those areas,” she said.

“We have been working with staff since November last year and we told staff of our intentions last week.”

The institute has already identified two teacher job losses at Albury in plumbing and fitting and machining.

Wagga will cut two teachers in carpentry and joinery.

The institute has campuses at Corowa, Finley and Deniliquin, but Ms Penton said job cuts at these sites had not been identified yet.

Ms Penton said management was undergoing a two-week consultation period while it heard from staff members and other stakeholders.

“It’s important we seek feedback from staff and that will happen over the next two weeks,” she said.

“We are looking to implement the changes next semester.

“We have timed (the changes) so existing classes are not affected.”

Ms Penton said she expected eight positions to be created as part of an increased focus on more popular courses.

“This restructure will create new positions in head of department areas and teaching positions in civil construction and civil engineering.”

Ms Penton said the institute was working with staff, but expected to see voluntary redundancies.

NSW TAFE Teachers Association Albury and Riverina branch president John Carle said the cuts were devastating.

“This couldn’t have come at a worse time with a shortage of tradesmen in these industries,” he said.

“These are experienced teachers and once they are gone they will be hard to replace.

Mr Carle said the institute was cutting key positions in Albury.

“We have very experienced plumbing teachers and it will be sad to lose one of them,” he said.