SA Not For Sale – All Member Campaign Update

07 December 2018

The PSA has been working with members across the Public Sector affected by the State Budget. As part of the broader campaign, the PSA recently engaged in both social media and print media advertising to educate and highlight to the community the nature of the Budget cuts and privatisations. The PSA Facebook page (you can like it here) has also been posting content about the effects the State Budget has had on various agencies.

This information update includes updates on some of the agency based campaigns the PSA is involved in supporting members. It is not an exhaustive list, but does give a good snapshot of some of the campaigning so far.

Financial Wellbeing Program Axing
Financial Counsellors in the Department for Child Protection were one of the first groups to be immediately impacted by a Budget decision. 59 FTE Financial Counsellors who work with the most disadvantaged in a preventative and supportive capacity were told that the program would be axed in favour of the Government providing very limited funding to the NGO sector. The PSA lodged a dispute in the South Australian Employment Tribunal and successfully halted the implementation of the cuts until such time as appropriate consultation has occurred. This group has also seen continuing parliamentary support thanks to some political lobbying.

Adelaide Remand Centre Privatisation
The privatisation of the Adelaide Remand Centre was announced as part of the State Budget. This affects about 180 employees directly. Since the announcement the PSA has been working to get the Government to provide any information about how the decision was made to privatise the ARC, including any independent report which would assist with the determination. The Government has thus far admitted that there is no independent report or evaluation that supports the privatisation, and that they are working from a proposal created in secret by the Chief Executive of the Department for Correctional Services. PSA members at all prison sites have recently passed a vote of no confidence in their Chief Executive due to the secrecy surrounding the decision, and the Chief Executive’s decision not to consult with members about the possibility of a privatisation or to receive suggestions of other efficiency measures.

Service SA
Three Service SA centres have been marked for closure – Mitcham, Modbury and Prospect. The PSA has been meeting with members and the community about these proposed closures. At this stage the Government has no plans about what will happen with staff if the closures go ahead. The PSA has been actively engaging with the community including assisting with petitions. The next steps in our campaign is our current letter-boxing effort to help raise awareness of the closures in the local areas around the offices. You can support the campaign by filling out our survey (here) and signing up to our SA Not For Sale petition (here).

TAFE SA
Seven TAFE closures were announced in the State Budget. Members at all affected metropolitan sites have been visited and the regional sites are about to meet via video link up. Each site has different activities supporting the members. Port Adelaide TAFE has seen the strong support of the local community and the PSA continues to engage with that process. Leafleting of the community at the recent Semaphore Fair was undertaken to gather further community support against the closure of this campus. Urrbrae campus has been the subject of industry based support given the nature of the teaching at that campus.

SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging
At the announcement of the State Budget the Government stated that they would seek to privatise these two important health services if they did not meet savings targets they had been set for the financial year. It is critically important that all members are aware of the Government's intentions with these vital services, and are prepared to stand up in support of your fellow members in these areas. The PSA has begun an awareness campaign and every metropolitan SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging site has been visited by a PSA Organiser in the past month.

Other Agencies
Almost all Public Sector agencies are facing cuts that will have a significant affect on employees and the services they provide. There are a high number of realignments and restructures across the Public Sector as Departments are grappling with how to implement the cuts. The PSA is supporting members throughout these processes. Some of the faster moving initiatives are highlighted below.

The Education Department is cutting one in six staff from the head office to reach a reduction well in excess of 200 FTE. This process is underway with EOIs for TVSPs being received.

The Legal Services Commission has already begun reducing staff with a number of staff receiving TVSPs in the past month. The LSC is also closing their Mt Barker office which will further reduce services the public receives.

ArtSA has been absorbed by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and is facing a 40% reduction in FTE. This process is underway. Members have been working together to ensure that they are appropriately consulted as they fight against the cuts.

The PSA continues to support our members in Supported Community Accommodation who were told their service will be outsourced as part of the NDIS where previously they were going to remain within the state under a public corporation.

The PSA is determined to continue to fight against privatisations and service cuts, and to support members affected by these decisions. The PSA is committed to a world class, well resourced public sector and asks all members to commit to supporting your fellow members in this campaign to protect the essential services you all provide to our community.

Visit www.sanotforsale.com.au for further information on ways to support the campaign.