In the past twelve months we’ve seen unprecedented action from nurses, midwives, forestry personnel, vocational educators, teachers in early education, primary and secondary sectors, education support staff, SES staff and now firefighters across the CFA and MFB. We know that the ambulance union’s in EBA negotiations now, and they’re unlikely to proceed with any more smoothness or haste than those which have gone before.

None of these sectors is trivial, none of the proposed cuts would improve Victoria now or into the future – all of them mean fewer opportunities for our young people, less safe health care, a higher likelihood of serious risk to the lives and wellbeing of this states’ residents and future.

The attitude this government’s taking, across the board, lack long term vision or sustainability – short term financial gains made by slashing TAFE funding will result in a massive reduction in education options for the very population most in need, and will lead to an increase in unemployment, crime, imprisonment, and a spiral of despair for the next generation. Moves to a significantly casualisaed workforce means less outlay for employers in the short term but at a significant cost to both employers (who lose valuable experience) and the workforce (who have little opportunity to conslidate knowledge, skills and expertise). Selling off TAFE buildings and land will inject short term capital but are assets that can not be replaced without significant outlay.

If you give one child a better education you can change their life; if you give all children a better education you change the nation and the future. – Julia Gillard

The Baillieu government, like the O’Farrell and Newman governments to our north, are focused only on the term of their office. We need leadership that looks at the best interests of their electorate, their communities, and their state – the long term interests of employees, employers, and the generations that are essential for any of us to have a future.

In 804 days Victoria decides who’ll lead us toward the next decade. Premier Baillieu’s not quite halfway through his term and so far he’s precipitated dissent and disruption unprecedented in Victoria since Jeff Kennett. Don’t be swayed by pre-election promises – remember the past twelve months, and look to the year ahead.

Four more years? Another Baillieu-negotiated EBA for nurses, midwives, firies, forestry staff, teachers, ambos? Selling off the tattered remains of TAFE?
It’s up to you.

PS If you’re on Facebook, think about liking the One Term Ted page