Why was this letter submitted to the AEU News in May not published? It was twice resubmitted.
The November 2014 state election was expected to be close with Labor favoured to win.
The election presented the AEU with an important opportunity to lockin the main political parties on the key funding issues of Gonski and year 5 & 6 commitments, and the more critical per capita funding gap. This has Victorian schools a massive $2,000 per student annually below the national average and worsening.
That didn’t happen.
In May 2014 I sought as an ordinary member to influence the union’s election strategy with a letter to the AEU News about Labor in power, core funding and other issues. These included contract employment , salaries , excessive workload and the VIT including a regressive tax on teachers called an annual fee.
The letter was blocked and only published under pressure in September four months later. Some members said it was the most important contribution in years about these matters.
The union presented a five point plan as the basis of its election campaign. Those and other identified needs could have been met had the union positioned front and centre the chronic underfunding that’s crippled our schools for years. It failed to do so.
With Labor elected its minister Merlino was featured all chummy with President Meredith Peace(AEU News February 2015) and playing the AEU on break. This replicated the ALP’s previous period in power 1999 to 2010. That 11 years left Victoria the lowest funded state and didn’t substantially reverse the damage done by the Kennett government 1992 to 1999.
Labor is now exposed through recently increasing and transferring funding to non government schools and refusing to commit to Gonski final years. Its with the Coalition in actively encouraging parents to transfer students to these schools and consigning public education to a residual system.
Also is Deputy President Justin Mullaly’s ALP membership a problem for the AEU as a conflict of interest.?
We expect better from our elected leaders. There has been too much reliance on consultants and spindoctors . We need a fiercely independent union that delivers through a recognition of the political realities in this state and acting accordingly.
Tony Delaney , CRT Member, Previously an AEU organiser & not a member of any political party. 14/4/15
Category: For a Democratic Union