More than 3,000 Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers attended a stop-work meeting yesterday—the largest in more than a decade—at Sydney Town Hall. The action formed part of a 24-hour strike by the TAFE education sector’s 10,000-strong workforce across the Australian state of New South Wales. Teachers are opposing a new award being enforced by the state Labor government of Premier Kristina Keneally.
Opposition to Labor’s education reforms is mounting, but the New South Wales Teachers Federation (NSWTF) and Unions NSW are working to head off a direct political struggle against the state and federal Labor governments. The NSWTF is calling for a “negotiated settlement” with Premier Keneally, even as her government makes clear it will press ahead with a series of sweeping attacks across the TAFE and public school sectors.