Enterprise Bargaining for SSOs – Your Voice, Your Union, Your Agreement

18 July 2018

The bargaining for conditions and pay in the Education Agreement for SSOs has begun. This is the chance once again for the PSA to go into bat for our members who work as support staff in schools.

Over the last few weeks we have surveyed members to ask what they wanted us to put on the table for bargaining this time around. From this, and from member feedback over time, we have put together a clear log of claims for bargaining. We have also considered the SA Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried, which was approved in January 2018, to make sure SSOs have access to the improved entitlements members achieved in this agreement.

During the bargaining there will be regular reports and meetings to let you know how it’s going and get your feedback.

In November there will be a mass meeting of all SSOs to hear reports about the enterprise agreement and determine where we go from there.

PSA Education Agreement Log of Claims

Fair Pay
We require a fair pay rise that values the work of SSOs and keeps up with the cost of living.

On call allowance to be increased.

A Better Career Path
A large number of SSOs are trapped at the lowest end of the classification scale and have found the reclassification process slow and complex.

We propose:

  •  an audit of all SSO1 positions in Education with the aim of moving SSO1s to the SSO2 level.
  •  backdating successful reclassification to the date of application

Job Security
There are far too many SSOs on contract employment with little job security.

We propose:

  •  Inclusion of the words that appear in the salaried agreement “that ongoing employment is the primary form of Public Sector employment”
  •  a comitment to reduce the number of SSOs on contract employment
  •  a review of recruitment and selection of ancillary staff that reflects the terms of Part 7 of the Public Sector Act.

Manageable Workload
In the salaried agreement there is a new fair process for staff to address workload issues with management. Excessive SSO workload continues to be a problem.

We propose:

  •  a process for addressing unreasonable SSO workload in line with the provisions of the salaried agreement

Equal treatment as valued staff members
Too often, SSOs are treated differently to other staff when it comes to accessing rights and being heard. The PAC only allows for one SSO to be present and only when there is an SSO issue to be discussed. In the spirit of equal treatment,

We propose:

  •  A process of consultation in each school for SSOs to discuss with management staffing and other issues that affect them
  •  Ability to make up time for public holidays
  •  Access to pupil free day
  •  Enforcement of meal breaks

Better Work Life Balance
The Education Agreement has fallen behind in a number of ways when it comes to the rights of staff with families.

We propose:

  •  increase total of paid and unpaid parental leave from 52 weeks to 104 weeks.
  •  ability to transfer to a safe job when pregnant
  •  improved rights for returning to work from parental leave
  •  improved breastfeeding rights at work
  •  paid partner leave increased to two weeks
  •  Improved rights for those who are living with family and domestic violence, including having this taken into consideration in relation to workplace performance

Other issues
SSOs deserve the right to be properly represented at work by their union workplace rep and union officials.

Mental First Aid training should be expanded to include staff covered by the Education Agreement.

The rights of SSOs who are made “excess” to requirement should be in line with the rights of other public sector workers.

A review of DE policies and procedures to reflect Part 7 of the Public Sector Act.