- To access all of your local news, visit newcastleherald.com.au directly. Our home page is updated with the latest headlines from across the region and the nation.
- You can even stay up to date by clicking here and signing up for free to our newsletters.
- If you value local journalism, support us by subscribing here
- To download the Newcastle Herald app, click here
TAFE NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union have clashed over how many jobs will be lost as part of the institute's latest restructure.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Wednesday that TAFE NSW was restructuring its Student Services and Facilities Management and Logistics teams, as part of the new One TAFE operating model.
CPSU NSW general secretary Stewart Little said on Thursday that TAFE documents showed 678 positions would be cut, including up to 470 regional positions.
He said the cuts affected "essential frontline jobs, not people doing corporate services".
He said they included those working directly with students, such as student advisors, customer support officers, field officers, VET fee help coordinators, help desk operators and marketing and promotions support officers, as well as those who maintained the campuses.
"TAFE has been delivering vocational training and education for over 130 years and it is disgraceful that - during a pandemic - that the government could be looking to cut jobs that not only will lead to unemployment in the regions, but have a huge impact on those people who are already affected, who have been made unemployed as a result of the pandemic, who are looking to reskill and get on with their life."
A TAFE NSW spokeswoman said the numbers the CPSU used were "categorically incorrect".
"It is expected that the final structures will see a reduction of fewer than 50 jobs across the organisation," she said.
"These are not frontline roles. There are no teaching positions, or roles that support students in the classroom or with their studies included in these proposed changes."
Shadow Minister for TAFE and Skills Jihad Dib said the roles were "critical positions to ensure the functioning of TAFE".
"You can't have a TAFE system that doesn't have all the support structures," Mr Dib said.
He and Mr Little said the figures came from TAFE NSW's own documents.
Mr Dib said TAFE NSW's claim of 50 positions was "completely untrue based on the information they've provided - and it's their own information".
"If that were the case, then are they really saying 50 people are doing the 700 roles that are being deleted?" Mr Dib said.
The spokeswoman said the restructure would reduce duplication and management layers.
"No student will be disadvantaged by these changes," she said.
"The nature and amount of [staff] feedback will determine the timeline for change."
IN THE NEWS: