PSA CAMPAIGN UPDATE - KEEP PUBLIC SERVICES IN PUBLIC HANDS!

05 April 2019

The PSA's campaign to stop massive government budget cuts to the public service is continuing in earnest.

PSA Organisers are meeting constantly with members across the Public Service to organise and take action to protect essential public services targeted by the current government for cuts and privatisations.

Here is a quick round-up of some key happenings since our last update.

Save Port Adelaide TAFE: RALLY this Saturday
Port Adelaide TAFE is one of a number of campuses set to be scrapped as part of the State Government's wide-ranging budget cuts, and the community is not happy.

How will young people on the Le Fevre Peninsula attain the skills they need to enter the workforce with no access to a local TAFE campus? Given the expansion of the defence industry in the area, which will require a skilled workforce, the decision to close the campus rather than growing it defies logic.

The PSA has been working with other unions, Members of Parliament and the local community to a organise a rally against the closure of Port Adelaide TAFE this weekend.

Join us at 12:00pm, this Saturday, 6 April 2019, between the TAFE campus and Hart's Mill, Mundy Street, Port Adelaide.

Go to our facebook page and share our recent post advertising the rally with your colleagues and friends.

Child Protection - Residential Care
By taking strong united action, PSA members who work in Residential Care have won their fight to stop the implementation of 12 hour shifts.

Over 70 PSA members met on 6 March 2019 and voted unanimously against the Department's proposal which would be bad for young people, families and staff.

The action taken by members means the Department has had to go back to the drawing board to create better rostering options, and agree to genuine consultation with PSA members.

Congratulations to all members involved in this important action; it shows that when we act as a collective we can make things happen.

Adelaide Remand Centre
The PSA is still campaigning against privatisation of the Adelaide Remand Centre.

Despite the matter being subject to a legal process whereby the government is being requested to make available for consultation documents pertaining to the implementation of the privatisation, the government has now signed a contract with Serco to run a privatised service, and has so far refused to produce any relevant documents.

The state government says privatisation is in the best interests of the community but has not provided a single reason as to why this is the case.

In our member update on 26 March 2019, we reported that the Queensland government is returning their privatised prisons to public control after private for-profit operators, including Serco, failed to provide a safe environment for both Correctional Officers and prisoners.

Having already undergone numerous lengthy pre-trial hearings and processes, the Adelaide Remand Centre matter is set to be heard in the South Australian Employment Court from 10-12 April 2019. We will update members on developments as they arise.

Reprieve on SA Pathology privatisation
The state government has privatisation of SA Pathology in its sights. On Tuesday 2 April 2019, the state government released the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report titled, Review of the commercial competitiveness of SA Pathology in a contestable market. The report provides almost impenetrable analysis on how the "business model" needs improving while saying absolutely nothing about how a more "competitive" service would benefit the community.

The report finds that SA Pathology is not in any position to be privatised, but only because "it isn't currently competitive". Since when does a public service that provides an essential community service need to be "competitive". The reality is it needs to be sustainable but the government appears to be cutting costs to make the service more attractive to a potential buyer in a sell-at-all-costs mentality.

The PSA will maintain and ramp up our campaign to stop the privatisation of SA Pathology. The PSA was successful in stopping large scale cuts to SA Pathology proposed by the previous government, and will continue to campaign against any suggested cuts by the current government. While the report highlights areas where ‘staff operating costs’ could be reduced, it does not include any recommended FTE savings. The Government however has taken the opportunity to pluck a number out of thin air and state they wish to reduce the workforce by about 200 FTE, an announcement without any supporting information or study into the effects on the system that may have.

PSA Assistant General Secretary Natasha Brown provided testimony to the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging earlier this year (more information here). The Assistant General Secretary’s testimony is being supported by an extensive written submission which will be provided to the committee and published to members soon.

Similar attempts to privatise public pathology services interstate have been disastrous, resulting in a poorer quality service and long delays for patients needing results. But just like public prisons, the current state government seems content to ignore any evidence that shows privatisation is not in the community’s interest.

Service SA closures averted for now
PSA members, with the support of local communities, have convinced the state government to rethink its plan to close three busy Service SA centres at Mitcham, Modbury and Prospect by the middle of this year. The state government has clearly understimated the feeling in the community around this issue.

Service SA centres provide essential services for many people. The government has had to admit they have no tangible plan to provide the same services in a way that does not impact on the community. We will keep campaigning to keep these centres open.

KEEP PUBLIC SERVICES IN PUBLIC HANDS

Sign up here to get more actively involved in our campaign.

Spread the word – Talk to your colleagues and your family about the negative impact privatisation would have.

Like the PSA Facebook Page – Search for Public Service Association of SA on Facebook, hit Like and Follow and share our posts.

Join the campaign, sign the petition – head to www.sanotforsale.com.au and sign our petition.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Rally to stop the closure of Port Adelaide TAFE – Saturday, 6 April 2019

Young members networking event – 9 April 2019
Want to meet other young, like-minded PSA members while discussing issues like career progression and insecure work? Come to our Young Members Networking event for under 35s on 9 April 2019 at The Jade.

Follow this link to register your interest.

Change the Rules - National Day of Action – 10 April 2019
We have a crisis of insecure work and low wages in Australia. That’s why working people are taking action with political protests for fair wage rises and better job security.

We need to protest in HUGE numbers all over the country to stand up for the fair go. Can we count on you to be there?

Register your attendance at this link: https://www.australianunions.org.au/change_the_rules_protest_adelaide