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May 26, 2008 | by  | in News |
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College of Education staff and students protest “slash and burn” staff cuts

Staff and students from Victoria University’s College of Education gathered at their Karori campus to protest proposed cuts to staff and resources, describing the plans as being “entirely without justification.”

Those present were protesting the plans by the University to cut over 15 per cent (29 members) of college staff and close the college’s resource centre.

According to Association of University Staff (AUS) branch organiser Michael Gilchrist, who led the protest, the planned cuts are part of a University plan to focus on research in education rather than the education of future teachers, and “threatens to leave teacher education in the dust.”

Close to 100 staff and students gathered outside the main entrance to the college last Thursday, with various signs and masks expressing people’s displeasure with the planned cuts.

Gilchrist briefly spoke about the reasons for the protest and the need to make submissions on the proposal, before leading a round of chants: “Students need lots of time, not degrees done online” and “Come to college, what do you learn? Slash and burn, slash and burn” being among the highlights.

VUWSA President Joel Cosgrove was present and spoke about the cuts, stating that there was “no justification to cut these staff” as the university was on course for a $9 million profit while giving the college a $1.8 million deficit.

Some former and current staff and students also spoke, expressing their anger at the university’s plans as well as the government for a lack of appropriate funding.

Despite their dissatisfaction with the proposed cuts, the gathering was peaceful and lighthearted – students waiting by the bus stop across the road were told that “there is no bus, the dean’s taken it!”

Gilchrist expressed disappointment at the lack of time to express their concerns, as submissions on the proposal were due by 3 p.m. the next day. However, he described the protest as “just the start of our campaign,” with a march to Parliament being discussed as a possibility.

Cosgrove attempted to lead a march of his own after the protest had finished, but the students present said they had classes to attend.

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Comments (5)

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  1. blogette says:

    “Cosgrove attempted to lead a march of his own after the protest had finished, but the students present said they had classes to attend.”

    HAHAHA… how much does this sum up
    a) joel cosgrove
    b) the reality of university education
    c) the uselesness of VUWSA.

  2. ex student says:

    The taecher’s union (NZEI) did make a submssion against the proposed cuts. Keep up the good work; if teachers can’t kick up a fuss and stand up for whats right then we are truly going into a very sad time in world

  3. Gibbon says:

    hi
    can someone please write a humorous blog post about the fact that the worker’s party has been offering funding for their political advertising but are nowhere near getting the 500 members required to register as a party
    thanks

  4. Gibbon says:

    offered**
    sorry

  5. CAPTAIB POLICITS says:

    THE WROKERS PARTY ARE OFEERONG FUDNING OF THEIR POLITICAL ADVERTISISNG BUT ASRE NOWHERE NEAR GETTING THE 500 MEMBERS OF THERE REGISTER AS A PARTY GA HA HA

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