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EDUCATION ACTION AND LEAD CONTAMINATION STATEMENT

Today, hundreds of Department of Education workers are taking action in support of public education.

CPSU/CSA Secretary Toni Walkington says the government needs to reverse the job cuts decision and keep critical public education services.

“The issue of lead in the water at our schools is a symptom of the problems that successive governments have created in cutting public sector staff undertaking important work in supporting schools and school staff.

“The Minister is pointing the finger at public servants to take responsibility for this issue, as the Government axes hundreds of jobs.

“Job cuts at the Department of Finance caused this problem, and the Department of Education then had to fix it, with significantly reduced staff.

“With job cuts of this magnitude, how does the Government imagine that health emergencies like lead in the water at our schools will be avoided or fixed?

“Schools are not equipped to deal with major issues like this, they are front line workers already stretched to the limit teaching WA’s kids.
“The jobs that are being targeted are critical to the function of the Department. When we cut services the head office does, the work gets left to schools and principals to pick up – with no extra training, staff or resources.

“Specialist roles such as Aboriginal Support Officers provide essential services based on culture and community liaising for aboriginal students and their families.

“This government needs to reverse the cuts and look at ways to increase revenue for this state, not cut services to those who need them the most.”

The list of roles to be axed include: project officers, administration assistants, managers, support officers, health and safety specialists, Aboriginal education coordinators and regulatory officers. Less administration assistants will mean more time teachers need to spend at the desk rather than developing lesson plans and teaching West Australian children.

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