SSO | Congratulations on Securing Your Employment Conditions by Voting in Your New Enterprise Agreement | Now Let’s Enforce Them!

27 February 2020

The PSA has received confirmation that the proposed South Australian School and Preschool Education Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020 was voted in successfully, with 78% of staff who voted saying “Yes – we agree to these employment conditions and pay”.

The agreement now needs to be approved by the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET). This process can take up to eight weeks and implementation of the agreement, including pay increases and back pay, will occur after this process is complete. The PSA understands that the Government has requested an expedited approval hearing.

Members should be proud of the action taken and the work done to achieve this outcome. At the bargaining table, the PSA solely represented SSOs and won:

  •  pay rises back dated to October 2018 as follows:
      •     1.35% from 1 October 2018
      •     1% from May 2019
      •     2.35% from May 2020, May 2021, and May, 2022
  •  additional criteria-based salary increments for SSO3s and above
  •  backdating of reclassification approval to date of application
  •  stronger rights in relation to making up time for Public Holidays for staff on 16% loading
  •  revised classification structure for Aboriginal Education Workers
  •  increased parental leave provisions and the ability to transfer to a safe job while pregnant
  •  access to Domestic/Relationship violence leave in line with the rest of the public sector
  •  permanent SSO representation on school Personnel Advisory Committees (PACs)
  •  commitment from the Department to review staff at the SSO1 level
  •  commitment from the Department to increase permanent ongoing employment of SSOs
  •  commitment from the Department to provide appropriate resources to schools to allow them to meet their industrial obligations (i.e. for the school to pay you for the work that you do at the appropriate classification)

PSA members now have some work to do to hold the department to account on what they have promised. Our focus now needs to be on building our collective power and influence so that we can fight for our rights on a more even playing field as an informed and educated workforce.

SSO1 to SSO2 Reclassification Process
The Government has committed to a process where all SSOs will be assessed to see if you should be classified at the SSO2 level. This will done by School Principals, supported by an officer in the Department. It is expected that this will be completed by 30 June 2020.

The PSA will be working with members and the Department to ensure that all eligible staff have been adequately assessed. The process set out by the department is available here.

Permanent Jobs
The Agreement states a commitment by the Government to reduce reliance on temporary contracts and/or casual employees. It also states that permanent part or full-time employment is the preferred form of employment and, “The Department will work towards minimising the use of temporary and casual staff in all school and preschool sites.”

The PSA knows that the vast majority of SSOs are employed on temporary contracts for all or part of their work. This gives you no security, makes it harder to manage your budget, take out a loan, organise holidays. We will need to campaign together to change the way site leaders provide employment opportunities and ensure accountability for the implementation of the above objective from the Department.

Keep an eye out for news and information about both of these issues.