Well-paid teachers brace to defend cushy conditions
THEQueensland Government is preparing to tussle with the Teachers' Union over cushy conditions that see TAFE trainers spend less time than you'd expect in the classroom.
The Palaszczuk Government is preparing to tussle with the Teachers Union over lucrative EBA conditions it believes are contributing to the state's skills crisis and threatening the financial future of TAFE.
Currently, full-time TAFE teachers work just 36.24 hours, with just 21 contact teaching hours, 11 hours preparation time and 4.25 hours of "discretionary time" they can use however they wish.
They're also paid handsomely if they agree to take early morning or night classes outside their ordinary hours of 8am to 6pm - a must for students working full time.
It's understood teachers are being asked to extend their teaching hours and work across a bigger spread of hours once the current EBA expires on June 30.
One suggestion will be that teachers extend their teaching hours substantially during semester when classes are held and then scale contact hours back during assessment marking time.
The Government also wants to cut down overtime provisions to allow night classes to be more readily offered.
The push follows an Auditor-General's finding in May that TAFE Queensland's financial sustainability was at risk due to declining student numbers and no equivalent reduction in expenses.
It is budgeting for a $11 million loss in 2019 largely due to "employee cost challenges".
The report found more students were opting for private trainers, which had lower fees due to their lower costs.
Skills Minister Shannon Fentiman said TAFE provided high quality training.
"(But) there does need to be increased flexibility in how training is delivered to meet the needs of industry," she said.
A TAFE spokeswoman said that would be the focus of negotiations with the Queensland Teachers Union.
Meanwhile, the Government is also co-ordinating a national push with other states to change the Commonwealth's student loan system, which perversely makes university more affordable for people than TAFE.