Job security in TAFE

Posted on April 7, 2017

Recently we surveyed all of our TAFE membership to find how many are casual, temporary or labour hire employees and their experiences at TAFE. 

At the start of this year TAFE Queensland gave us the following snapshot of its workforce, which at the time employed 5127 employees:

  • Temporary services employees - 654
  • Casual services employees - 292
  • Temporary educators - 685
  • Casual educators - 814

The figures demonstrated above represent a large portion of staff who are precariously employed and who do not enjoy job security. Your union has also raised concerns about the use of labour hire as a replacement to permanent modes of employment and regarding the inappropriate use of labour hire. We have requested further information from TAFE about this issue.

Approximately 37% of services employees and 58% of educators are employed on casual or temporary contracts. This is a huge problem for all of us and our job security. Consequently, as we did in enterprise bargaining negotiations we aim to continue our discussions within the appropriate consultative forums at the local and state levels to overturn this high level of job insecurity.

This week, TAFE Queensland scheduled an extraordinary meeting of the overarching TAFE Consultative Committee (TCC). This was an opportunity for your representatives to state our strong opposition to the proposed cessation of temporary employees being proposed by TAFE Queensland Brisbane. Despite this TAFE Brisbane are moving to terminate the employment of a number of temporary employees. If you are impacted by this decision, get in touch with us ASAP.

We cannot accept such a decision that is in direct conflict to the commitments from enterprise bargaining to covert eligible temporary staff to permanent status. 

Your union representatives will continue to talk with management until a suitable resolution is found. You can help us build a stronger union to tackle issues like this by sharing this email with your work colleagues and across your TAFE networks. If you know a temporary, casual or labour hire worker, ask them to join Together and complete our short surveys: temporary & casual workers and labour hire workers

So far, members are telling us that they have been employed in precarious  arrangements from anywhere from 6 months to 7 years, or as in one case over 20 years! Our TAFE Queensland Award and our collective agreement gives us capacity to address and convert those on direct TAFE temporary appointments to permanent. It's really important that if you are temporary, you complete the survey so we can have a deeper understanding of your employment and support conversions. 

So we all have some work to do! Don't forget to ask your colleagues to join Together and share this email. For more information, email Valda on with any questions.

1800 177 244