Unions have slammed what they say is a proposal to cut "pivotal" TAFE jobs in the Illawarra, despite TAFE NSW disputing claims about the number of job losses.
Wollongong and West Wollongong TAFE teachers rallied on Wednesday to support their security guards and support staff, and to demand no job losses.
Teachers say documents provided to the federation indicate Wollongong TAFEs will lose 15 student support and nine maintenance and logistics positions, plus eight permanent security guards.
They say these documents show that from Wollongong to Bega, 56 of 238 support staff positions are under threat.
NSW Teachers Federation organiser Rob Long said the consultation process regarding a proposed change management plan was a "sham".
"Our members are deeply concerned for our TAFE security and student support staff colleagues who are facing losing their jobs in the latest round of TAFE cuts," Mr Long said.
Shane Elliott, the Community and Public Sector Union's south-east regional organiser said they "have a situation where teachers won't be allowed to do their role if the support staff have been taken away from their roles".
"They're considered backroom, unimportant... But they're a pivotal part of the overall service that allows teachers to do their job," he told the Mercury.
Attendees moved a motion that Wollongong and West Wollongong federation members "condemn the decision of the Berejiklian government to delete 678 TAFE NSW security guards and support staff".
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Duncan McDonald, Wollongong organiser of the NSW Teachers Federation said without the support staff, schools didn't function.
"So this is a very short-sighted decision to cut these positions," he said.
Attendees on Wednesday also demanded Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee stop any job cuts, with teachers calling for no job losses in libraries, disability support, student counselling and teaching.
A TAFE NSW spokeswoman said that in 2016, TAFE NSW announced a new One TAFE operating model.
"We have been transparent with employees and unions that these teams would go through organisational design as part of the One TAFE modernisation reforms.
"It is expected that the final structures will see a net reduction of fewer than 50 jobs across the organisation. These are not frontline jobs.
"There are no library staff, disability support, student counselling or teaching roles included ..."
The spokeswoman said the unions had misunderstood the information provided to staff, confusing role changes for job losses.
"As required under TAFE NSW Enterprise Agreements, we are consulting with affected employees to seek their input and feedback on proposed changes," she said.
"Many employees have welcomed the proposed new model.
"The outcome of the consultation will determine the final structure, and will help inform the location of any roles that will change as part of this process."
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