Unions hand over thousands of petitions against education cuts

The State School Teachers’ Union, United Voice and CPSU/CSA have handed over more than 42,000 signatures to Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, calling for the Barnett Government to reverse its education cuts.

The State School Teachers’ Union, United Voice and CPSU/CSA have handed over more than 42,000 signatures to Opposition Leader Mark McGowan, calling for the Barnett Government to reverse its education cuts.

The government has so far confirmed it will cut 500 education positions, slash funding for special programs by a third, freeze teacher numbers and impose a long service levy on schools.

“The Premier and the Education Minister seem to be the only ones who don’t understand what a huge impact these cuts are going to have on WA schools,” said SSTUWA President Anne Gisborne.

“But the fact that more than 42,000 parents and community members across the state have signed this petition shows how concerned the public is about what these cuts mean for children’s education.”

“I think the government has underestimated the depth of community sentiment on this issue, but maybe 42,000 signatures will make it take notice.”

The petitions were collected at schools, community events and cake stalls across the state, from Kununurra down to Albany and across to Kalgoorlie.

“As they signed the petition, members of the community expressed deep concerns about the impact of these cuts on our state’s children and absolute dismay at the skewed priorities of the Barnett Government,” said CPSU/CSA Branch Assistant Secretary Rikki Hendon.

United Voice Secretary Carolyn Smith said it was time the Barnett Government stopped and listened to the community’s concerns.

“People are angry about these cuts, and they have every right to be,” she said.

“The Barnett Government has admitted it is ripping more than $100 million out of schools, and parents and the community are calling on the government to put that money back.”

More than 60 union and community members were attending Parliament for the tabling of the petition.