NSW Teachers Federation claim the Berejiklian Government’s annual ‘efficiency dividend’ will hurt Dubbo schools

The NSW Teachers Federation claim the state government’s annual ‘efficiency dividend’ will hurt Dubbo schools.

The Union says the ‘efficiency dividend’ will rip hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Education Department’s budget.

NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the dividend was originally set at 1.5 per cent, then the annual budget cut for all state government departments rose to two per cent last financial year and is now being increased to three per cent.

“Hundreds of positions that once supported schools have been lost because of the “so-called efficiency dividend”,” he said. “This year’s three per cent cut could slice up to $420 million dollars from the education department’s budget.

Efficiency dividend questioned: NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron.

Efficiency dividend questioned: NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron.

“That’s $420 million that should have been going to assist schools to deliver a better education for the students of NSW.”

Mr Mulheron said the mandated cuts would mean a significant loss of capacity in the education department to provide any support for schools.

“Before the Coalition began cutting staff from the education department there were experienced teacher-consultants deployed across the state to assist schools to manage a range of issues including children with challenging behaviours, drug and alcohol education, student welfare, multicultural education and anti-bullying strategies,” he said. “This ‘efficiency dividend’, has resulted in state-wide programs and front-line support either being scrapped or the additional responsibilities placed on already over-burdened schools. The loss of these positions will mean that principals and teachers will be forced to pick up this administrative work and this will take away time from teaching and learning.”

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Education disagreed with the unions claims.

“The efficiency dividend is not levied on school funding, there is no requirement for the department to reduce staff that support schools in order to meet the 2018/19 efficiency dividend.

Department of Education

“The efficiency dividend is not levied on school funding,” the spokesperson said.

“There is no requirement for the department to reduce staff that support schools in order to meet the 2018/19 efficiency dividend.”