Cash-strapped CQ TAFE axes jobs

JOBS TO GO: The Emerald Campus of CQ TAFE is set to see staff cuts.
JOBS TO GO: The Emerald Campus of CQ TAFE is set to see staff cuts. Nadine Kennedy

CQ TAFE is in a cash-strapped hole with 60 jobs to be axed by mid-June as Brisbane-based bureaucrats inflict harsh cuts.

Union officials yesterday said Emerald staff were believed to be shocked after being told of the cuts and an organisational restructure on Wednesday.

It is understood no opportunity was given to Central Queensland staff to ask questions after they were ordered to attend a meeting where Institute Director Steve Mathieson delivered the bad news.

Mr Mathieson also announced a halving of the number of faculties from four to two.

In a statement issued last night, he said the job cuts were equivalent to 21 full-time positions.

Queensland Teachers Union TAFE organiser Paul Reardon said staff were on eggshells because no-one was sure whose job would go.

Mr Reardon said of the 60 jobs cut, 13.5 were teaching positions with the remainder administrative roles.

He said CQ TAFE was about $4 million in the red – a claim TAFE management didn't respond to.

“The place is so under-funded they are under pressure, both financially and politically, to make ends meet,” Mr Reardon said.

“When you are a service industry where wages are a key cost, jobs will go.

“The community of Central Queensland will wake up one day and find that what they thought they had with regards to training programs will no longer be there.

“That will be a sad day.

“Central Queensland needs to make sure they don't let it happen.”

Mr Mathieson confirmed he met with staff this week at CQ TAFE's Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone and Central Highlands campuses to inform them of the changes.

“We are building our future by responsibly creating a sustainable, flexible CQ TAFE that delivers for industry and community training needs and emerging government priorities,” Mr Mathieson said.

“The need for change has come about due to the competitive nature of the training market and government policy that has seen training become more contestable.”

He said in order for CQ TAFE to become a strong leader in the provision of training and seize the opportunities in the region, it had to recognise the need for change.

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