An overhaul of staff roles may see a number of jobs lost or absorbed at the Wagga campus of TAFE NSW.
The exact amount of jobs facing changes across the state has been disputed, with the Community Public Sector Union (CPSU) of NSW adamant that "nearly 700 frontline TAFE NSW jobs" will be lost. It claims up to 470 will be in the regions.
However, a spokesperson for TAFE NSW told The Daily Advertiser via a statement that the sector's restructuring will result in a reduction of fewer than 50 jobs across the state.
Changes to the student services and facility management operations were flagged in 2016 along with plans to roll out the 'One TAFE' system.
A spokesperson for TAFE NSW explained the new system would "bring together 10 separate institutes and its digital delivery arm".
"We have been transparent with people working in student services and facilities management that these teams will go through organisational design as part of the One TAFE modernisation reforms," the spokesperson said.
"These changes will reduce duplication and management layers. It is expected that the final structures will see a reduction of fewer than 50 jobs across the organisation.
"These are not frontline roles. There are no teaching positions or roles that support students in the classroom or with their studies included in these proposed changes."
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CPSU general secretary Stewart Little has stuck to the 700 job loss figure, saying that the restructure will absorb from the state's economy some existing unfilled roles, while also directly affecting many currently filled jobs.
"These are the government's own numbers," Mr Little said.
"The union will be fighting these job cuts at every stage. TAFE NSW is a vital piece of infrastructure that must remain in public hands, not dismantled for private operators."
Documents seen by The Daily Advertiser indicate Wagga will see changes to its traineeship and apprenticeship support, student services administration, customer service support, and customer contact roles, among others.
But the spokesperson for TAFE NSW said: "no student will be disadvantaged by these changes".
"The proposed changes will ensure TAFE NSW provides students with a consistent level of service and equal access to information regardless of location, supported with excellent learning environments everywhere," the spokesperson said.
"TAFE NSW has support in place to ensure a smooth transition for employees and is focused on minimising disruption to students, employers, and industry."
Over the coming weeks and as required under the TAFE NSW Enterprise Agreement, consultation will be undertaken with affected employees.
"Feedback from staff will inform the final organisational design and that will determine the final structure. The nature and amount of feedback will determine the timeline for change," the spokesperson said.