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Special Bulletin | 4 May 2012    
 

DRACONIAN VICTORIAN BUDGET IMPACTS TAFE

The 2012 Victorian Budget will impose cuts of more than $100 million, by removing differentials between public provider and private RTO funding for vocational education and training.

The severe cuts extend to funding of disadvantaged areas, youth training, and infrastructure.

To address TAFE capacity to respond in the market, the Victorian Government announced that Victorian TAFE Institutes will be permitted to negotiate individual enterprise agreements, but provided little detail of the measure.

The Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon. Peter Hall, released a VET reform statement indicating that institutes will be given the flexibility to negotiate their own enterprise agreements with teaching staff.  This doesn't preclude collective bargaining. Each institute will still need to submit management logs and agreements to the Minister for Finance for approval, but the Government’s intention was to provide more flexibility to make the case for enterprise agreements that deliver workplace reforms that obviously meet Fair Work tests, while being consistent with Institute’s individual business strategies and budget capacities.  

Skills Victoria is expected to release further guidance in the next week.

The Victorian TAFE Association criticised the Budget, indicating the Baillieu Government has effectively moved to privatise the public provider. See their reaction here.

David Williams, Executive Director VTA, also expressed disappointment in Federal COAG negotiations which cited ‘transition arrangements’ to support TAFE under entitlement, without agreeing detail with Victoria – opening the door to Budget cuts to TAFE.

For details of the Budget, see here.

For media coverage in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, see here.