PSA Members Vote to Support AEU Industrial Action on Monday 1 July 2019 and to Keep Negotiating for a Better Deal

28 June 2019

The PSA held meetings this week with SSO members across different regions to discuss the Government’s Enterprise Bargaining offer for School and PreSchool Staff.

The offer presented by the Government includes some wins for PSA members’ and some concerns that potentially could be improved with further negotiation.

Wins for PSA members in the current offer:

  •  a review of SSO1 positions in the Department for Education (DE) with the aim of moving SSO1s to SSO2 level to address the disproportionate number of under classified SSO1s
  •  commitment to continuing to increase permanency
  •  an increase to the on-call allowance
  •  Permanent SSO representation on the Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC) in schools
  •  The ability for part time staff receiving the 16% loading to make up time for public holidays
  •  Better work-life balance including; increase to the total paid and unpaid parental leave, ability to transfer to a safe job when pregnant, improved return to work rights following parental leave, improved breastfeeding rights at work, increased paid partner leave, and improved rights for people experiencing domestic violence


Concerns with the current offer:

  •  SSO1 to SSO2 classification review only applies to ongoing staff. The PSA is aware that a large proportion of SSO1s and ECW1s are contract staff who should be recognised within the classification review. Further, the review will be achieved by “exchange of letters” rather than being embedded within the agreement
  •  Removal of status quo from the dispute resolution clause. Currently, if a dispute is raised regarding a change or decision made by the department, status quo must be maintained until the dispute is resolved. This means that under the current rules, the department cannot forge ahead with changes or decisions which are in dispute. If the status quo is removed, changes can be made and implemented while in dispute.
  •  Watering down of consultation rights. The current offer removes union representation from the PAC. Further, under the current offer, changes will be made to the Notification of Change clause regarding what constitutes a “significant effect” on staff. The department will not be required to consult on changes that are not deemed to have a “significant effect” on employees.



Motion passed by PSA members
At each of the meetings held this week, PSA members passed the following motion by majority vote:

“PSA members at this meeting seek further negotiations with Government to achieve the best possible outcome for SSOs.

and

PSA members will support the AEU action on 1 July 2019 in schools that have voted yes to taking action, if the action proceeds.”

The AEU have planned a rally at 11:00am, Monday 1 July 2019 at Parliament House in Adelaide. Rallies will also be held in regional centres at Mount Gambier, Whyalla, and Port Lincoln. PSA members are encouraged to attend.

The PSA reminds members that they are protected in taking industrial action in solidarity with their AEU member colleagues. Only union members are protected in taking industrial action. If you are not yet a member, it is important to join now to ensure you are protected in taking action on Monday. Only PSA members can continue working together to achieve the best possible outcome for your Enterprise Agreement.

A further information update will be provided to members about what your options are in the event the Government puts the Agreement to ballot.