Members Commence Stage 1 - Escalating Industrial Action - Families SA

15 April 2016

Further to the recent member motion, the PSA can report that the Department Education and Child Development (DECD) has not provided satisfactory commitments to fill 200 vacancies, provide immediate staffing support, to cease the replacement of social workers with non social work staff, convert temp staff to ongoing, and effectively manage their workforce. Rather than provide these commitments the Department has sought an emergency listing at the Industrial Relations Commission for the afternoon of 18 April.


As a result of this management inaction and as unanimously endorsed by members, from Monday 18 April at 9.00am PSA members will commence the following industrial action;


Overtime bans – Work to Rule


Members to work to their contracted hours. Your good will can no longer cover the inadequacies of DECD workforce management. Where emergency overtime must be undertaken members should also be requesting that all overtime is approved as paid overtime (as per your rights in the Enterprise Agreement, TOIL is by mutual agreement only). While members can decide if an emergency matter warrants additional time at work – when not undertaking overtime be clear in advising your appropriate manager that you are 'finishing your duty in accordance with the authorised industrial action and due to the inability of DECD to safely manage workloads'.


Non participation in SBC/FSA Practice Model and related training


PSA members will limit any additional work or time required to implement the current Solution Based practice model including related training and meetings. When not undertaking such work members should advise your appropriate manager that 'you are not undertaking these duties in accordance with the authorised industrial action as the implementation of the current model does not enable you to focus on protecting children'.


Not undertaking non-essential administrative tasks


PSA members will not undertake non-essential administrative tasks. Any task that does not directly affect the safety of children and is an unnecessary administrative burden should not be undertaken. When not completing such a duty advise your appropriate manager that 'you are not undertaking this duty in accordance with the authorised industrial action to ensure time is better spent on protecting children'.


Should any manager direct you to undertake any of the duties detailed above ask them to place this in writing and respond, in writing, as per the phrases detailed above. Copy in your worksite representative and the PSA. PSA members will continue to determine when they undertake actions that this will not place children in risk.


As per the member motion the PSA shall be advising members next week of an escalation of the industrial action should DECD fail to provide the commitments sought. This will include advice around advising external stakeholders through email signatures, automated responses and posters that members within Families SA are undertaking industrial action (with the reasoning also detailed within this consistent message).


Should this action fail to focus the attention of DECD then as per the motion further preparations will be undertaken to conduct a rally outside the Head Office of DECD.


Members in Families SA have only come this far through unity and strength. Together we must make sure DECD deliver on these basic commitments. By going straight to the Commission your employer is effectively saying it cannot resolve the matter so the unity of action becomes even more important to show DECD just how strongly members feel.


For further assistance and guidance contact your worksite representative or the PSA.