Cake stalls to pay for education cuts

Education Unions the State School Teachers’ Union, United Voice and CPSU/CSA, today held a cake stall outside the Premier’s Palace to raise money for schools struggling under the weight of the government’s cuts to education.

Schools were being forced to take money out of their budgets to cover long service leave entitlements, which for some could add up to $80,000 dollars a year.

The funding for special programs was also being slashed by a third.

SSTUWA President Anne Gisborne said schools were going to have to increase fundraising to try to ensure students still received a quality education.

“The humble lamington drive has been a staple of school fundraising for years, only now, the money raised will have to be used to pay long service leave entitlements and to keep some special programs running for students.”

The cake stall at the Premier’s Palace was just the first in a series of stalls which would be held at electoral offices around the state throughout the school term.

An online survey was also launched today for parents to share information about the loss of staff and services at their local schools via the Putting Our Kids First website (www.puttingourkidsfirst.com.au).

The survey results would be collated on the website, so that parents could log on and see how their school was being affected.

“The Barnett Government refuses to be transparent about how many staff each school is losing and the extent of cuts in funding, so we are having to collect that information ourselves,” said Ms Gisborne.

“The government is trying to confuse parents by talking about Full Time Equivalents. What people need to understand is that up to 5 people could make up just one FTE position.

“So when your school is talking about losing 1.4 FTE’s, that could actually equate to 7 valuable staff members who are losing their jobs, and 7 fewer people who will be working with your children.”

CPSU/CSA Branch Assistant Secretary Rikki Hendon said it was ridiculous the government still refused to even admit it was making cuts.

“The Premier continues to tell parents there’s nothing to worry about, but the information we’re receiving from schools about the cuts they will experience in 2014 paints a very different picture,” she said.

“It’s time for the Premier to face up to the reality of what these cuts will mean for our public schools and for WA children.”

Ms Gisborne said the unions would continue campaigning until the government agreed to reverse its budget cuts.

"We will consider every action necessary, including political and industrial."

For more information abou the campaign, visit the Putting Our Kids First website

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