State election campaign launch

DATE: 06/10/2016

The State School Teachers’ Union will host an event today to officially launch its position paper for the 2017 state election, calling for better support for schools, more education staff and lower TAFE fees.

The event will be attended by Education Minister Peter Collier and Shadow Education Minister Sue Ellery as well as up to 100 guests, including school leaders and teachers.

The audience will be able to submit written questions regarding WA’s education system, which will be answered by each of the candidates.

SSTUWA president Pat Byrne said the event would also be used as a platform to launch the union’s election position paper and advertising campaign.

“We are calling for a number of things from the major parties in regards to education,” she said.

“We want the cuts to school budgets reconsidered, to allow for Education Assistants and teachers to be re-hired and programs to be reinstated.

“We want action to reduce violence in schools, by investing in professional development for school staff on student behaviour and expanding strategies to deal with disruptive students.

“We want more support for school staff, by reducing the workload for teachers and school leaders in the areas of compliance and administrative duties.

“And we want our schools to be properly maintained, by clearing the maintenance backlog and improving ICT provision.”

Ms Byrne said the union was also calling for TAFE fees to be reduced, after they increased by more than 600% over two years in some courses.

“This increase in fees has led to TAFE enrolments plummeting,” she said. “We need a government that properly invests in our TAFE system to ensure WA has a qualified workforce going into the future.”

Ms Byrne said the union was calling on the major parties to make their commitments to education clear before the election.

She said the union would also launch its advertising campaign at the event, which urged the public to vote for the party they believed put public education first.

The TV, print, radio, outdoor and online ads will run in the metro area and South West from Sunday (9th October) up until the election.