$2billion has been cut from education. This isn’t as bad as it seems, as edu-hierarchies have paid attention to associated trends in medical, cleaning, mining, retail and other services. In between their conferences, they too have been casualising the workforce with the same vigor and vim for years. The thing about education is that as a pillar of social-status, the leaders have largely avoided public-scrutiny.

$2billion can be cut without any loss of classroom teachers because to be a ‘teacher’ means full-time continuing. Not casual or contract and not support (technicians and so on).

When head-office dreams up a new idea, it hires in casual and contract staff. “We want to do something no one has done, a innovate workspace blah blah”. If they money dries up unexpectedly, or spent in ways they didn’t foresee (wow, those screens cost way more than we thought!) – it’s easy to ditch staff. Heck you can do it by email. Just refer to policy change or cuts in funding – and you don’t have to report it. The key is to make sure you tell the permanent staff the right story … so no one suspects.

Increasingly systems entertain their ideas by hiring ‘third party’ trainers and experts. This of course is not subject to award rates, but market rates. The fee for a day is ten times what a casual would get for a week in many cases. Despite hundreds of studies advising how in-effective this is – it’s very popular.

This leaves a profession where casuals are expendable and subject to very different workplace conditions to permanent staff. Getting from graduate to full time teacher – in your community – is a pipe-dream for many new teachers. Casuals and contractors take up contracts which twist and morph more than a Decepticon. They can be off-loaded for taking leave or even doing their job too well.

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