WA teachers face axe as cuts deepen across education sector


SSTUWA President Pat Byrne said the State Government has today broken a key election commitment to quarantine teachers and school-based staff from budget cuts.

“These deep cuts to crucial education services will have wide-reaching and long-term impacts on students and teachers across Western Australia,” Ms Byrne said.

“The 170 jobs axed today, come on top of the 188 jobs cut as part of an organisational restructure announced only last month. More concerning is that teachers and specialist educators are now being targeted as part of these cuts.”

Isolated students will be some of the worst affected by the closures of all School of the Air services, and residential accommodation Moora and Northam during 2018.

“A state the size of Western Australia requires ongoing investment to ensure every student receives a quality public education, irrespective of where they live. These cuts hit students in isolated and regional areas the hardest.”

“School of the Air is a respected and celebrated service, which is crucial to educating children in the remotest corners of WA,” Ms Byrne said. “The closure of every one of these schools will have an enormous impact on farming and pastoralist families across this State.

Funding for Gifted and Talented programs will be reduced by 25 per cent, while opportunities for WA’s most dedicated and skilled teachers will be curtailed for at least three years.

“The Minister is targeting some of the Department’s most successful programs for demolition. I’m sure many parents will be disappointed to hear their gifted children may now miss out on the education they need to succeed at the highest level.

The State Government's voluntary separation scheme has seen 3000 jobs targeted across the public sector, with the Department of Education, which makes up 26 per cent of the public sector, set to lose 800 jobs as part of the scheme.

“This is a massive blow to our education system and simply unsustainable if we are to continue educating our children at the current standard,” Ms Byrne said.

“With almost 400 job cuts announced in the last month alone, the question is where the rest of the 800 job losses will come from.”

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