Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government will be relying on assets sales and more cuts to jobs and frontline services to deliver its unfunded education policy.
“More than 24 hours after the Premier declared his government will commit $535 million over four years to the new policy, Treasurer Tim Nicholls has been unable to say where the money is coming from,” Mr Pitt said.
“In reality it will be from assets sales, privatisation and outsourcing of government services plus more cuts to jobs and frontline services despite the Premier’s solemn ‘no more job cuts’ policy of last December.
“The government has made an ongoing commitment to new funding, starting with an initial $535 million over four years.
“So the source will have to be a mix of assets sales and permanent cuts to jobs and frontline services.
“The LNP will also have to consider fee-for-service payments, slugging parents for previously ‘free’ education.”
Mr Pitt said placing school principals on individual contracts and performance pay scales means principals would be unlikely to choose disadvantaged, regional, rural or indigenous schools.
“Forcing individual contracts for principals is introducing WorkChoices into our schools,” he said.
“If, as the LNP desires, every school in Queensland is to become an ‘independent public school’ responsible for its own budget and staff, the teacher transfer system will simply fall over. Small, regional and remote schools will be hit the hardest.
“All teachers deserve a fair wage and recognition of their skills, but creating two classes of teachers is not the way to go.
“We should also remember the Newman Government has already tried to freeze wages for new teachers for up to three years.
“That shows their commitment to equity and a fair wages system.”
Mr Pitt said it had been former Labor Governments that had introduced the Senior Teacher classification to provide an incentive to keep experienced teachers in the classroom, rather than forcing them to pursue career advancement in administration.
“This has created a career path for senior teachers, without the need for a divisive bonus system.
“The LNP model of bonuses is designed to have teachers looking over their shoulders at their colleagues.
“Schools work best when teachers cooperate, not by introducing conflict in the staffroom,” he said.