Employers need to communicate in wake of VET funding cuts
The announcement by the Federal Government that it will strip accreditation and public funding from over 150 private Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, including Careers Australia and Evocca, has created an even greater climate of uncertainty for employees in these colleges and those across the sector.
While sector reform is long overdue given the unscrupulous business practices of some providers, the Federal Government has failed to provide any protection and security for the thousands of educators and administrative staff working for Australian VET providers, and employers are not making it any easier by failing to communicate with their staff.
VocVoice Organiser Aaron Watson said educators in the Vocational Education sector need to be treated with respect and told what is happening and the implications regarding the loss of funding.
“The current unsettled state of the VET sector is cause for significant alarm and employees really are the meat in the sandwich at present,” he said.
“Some employers knew what was happening at the start of the week and said nothing leaving it up to employees to find out from media reports”.
Both the Federal Government and VET employers need to show genuine professional respect to those working in the sector by consulting with employees on the changes to funding and what that means at an operational level for colleges.
Employees and students are yet to receive anything of substance from either the government or VET providers.
There is no mention of future plans describing how they are planning to rebuild and stabilise the VET sector.
Employees are now questioning how the VET sector is meant to survive and contribute to our economy when it is constantly being changed without credible consultation and communication.
VET employers now more than ever need to be ensuring integrity in their operations in light of the publicised misconduct by some and, in doing so, must respect the important role educators and administration staff play in providing quality education and continuity to students through these changes.
What does this mean for members?
Many of our members will now be questioning whether they will have a job next month, let alone next year. Members will want to know what it will mean if their employer goes broke.
Members who are on leave or secondment will be worried about what will happen to their position in their absence. Mostly, members will be worried about their chances of being redeployed or whether they will be facing redundancy.
This fact sheet lists questions members may face and which need to be considered by employers, regardless of the circumstances, before any redundancies can be made.
However, there are two things that members can do right now to help us provide advice.
The first is to locate their original appointment/contract documentation so we can work out what their contracted conditions are.
The second, once this is done, is to contact our union so that we can provide advice and support to help members make informed decisions.
Our Organisers and Industrial Services team can be contacted on 07 3839 7020 or 1800 177 937. Direct queries can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org