Government Attacks SA Housing Members’ Employment Conditions and Rights to Ongoing Employment

03 April 2019

Ever since the Government moved Housing SA from the Department of Human Services and established the SA Housing Authority, the PSA has been campaigning to ensure members’ access to the same entitlements as other public servants. This was because staff were asked to sign common law contracts which took them out of the Public Sector Act and the Enterprise Agreement.

Members across the state signed a petition to stop the use of these common law contracts and PSA officials met with the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and the Treasurer to argue this on behalf of members.

Two weeks ago, the Government unilaterally changed the Public Sector Regulations without consultation or notification.

These changes do bring all staff in the SA Housing Authority under Part 7 of the Public Sector Act and the Enterprise Agreement which is good, but they also take away two key employment conditions:

  •  allow the Authority to employ staff on term contracts without limits; and
  •  water down the process for termination.

This is an attack on the job security of PSA members in Housing.

There is an unreasonably high level of contract employment in Housing and the PSA has been actively working to convert contract employees to ongoing.

The PSA is currently exploring our options to address the Government’s move and ensure the Authority adhere to Clause 10 of the Enterprise Agreement which states “Ongoing employment is the primary form of public sector employment”.

The PSA also intends to continue the campaign to convert workers who have been on contract for more than two years. To date we have had nearly 30 members converted to ongoing from temporary employment.

If you are a PSA member and you have been employed on a temporary contract for more than two years and have not already sent us your contracts for review, please send them to PSA. To review your contracts we need every contract you have been engaged on while working for Housing SA. You can obtain these by asking for them from your personnel file.

Members will be kept informed of developments in this area.