TAFE SA | “Education Transformation” | Proposed Restructure of Educational Business Units | Member Feedback Sought

11 February 2020

The Public Service Association (PSA) attended a “First Stage Consultation Session” with staff on Wednesday 5 February 2020, where TAFE SA presented their proposed restructure of Educational Business Units.

The proposals include realigning Educational Business Unit workgroups from five Units into three. The largest proposed reduction of staff is Educational Managers (37 ongoing roles to 25 ongoing roles) and Principal Lecturers (41 ongoing roles to 28 ongoing roles).

However there is also a proposed reduction of salaried staff, with Business Operations Manager roles proposed to reduce from five roles to three roles. The PSA has also raised the issue of possible impacts on administrative staff in these units.

Concerningly, TAFE SA has proposed a consultation period of only five working days. The Australian Education Union (AEU) and the PSA both raised concerns at the presentation regarding this short time frame, especially when both unions require further information in order to genuinely consult with members.

The PSA also raised a number of other issues both at the presentation, and via email on 6 February 2020, noting that the documents provided on the TAFE SA intranet for review were only forwarded to the PSA that day. Those concerns are:

  •  As per Clause 15.2 of the South Australian Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2017 ('the Agreement'), "Any proposed review or proposed workplace change must include as part of consultation, an assessment of the potential impact on workloads for individual employees or a work group in a workplace and measures proposed to manage such impacts. The intent of managing impacts must be to minimise the risk of unreasonable workloads." This has not been provided, and the PSA and members are unable to engage in consultation until such time as the workload assessments are provided. The PSA has requested advice as to when these will be forwarded to the PSA and salaried staff.
  •  While TAFE SA stated that the Student Experience restructure is a separate process to this restructure, it is clear that there will be changes to work practice for administrative staff in the Educational workgroups. The PSA has requested TAFE SA’s confirmation as to when consultation will occur with the PSA and those staff regarding the changes that are proposed to occur as a result of this proposed restructure.
  •  In addition, there are also concerns that there will be a reduction of administrative staff if this restructure is implemented. The PSA is aware that each Educational Manager ('EM') has an allocated EM Support ASO2 of 0.5 FTE. If there is a reduction of 12 EM roles, this could mean that 6 FTE of ASO2 EM Support is no longer required. The PSA has requested TAFE SA’s response and clarification regarding this.
  •  Clause of Appendix One of the Agreement states that "Public Sector Agencies will...Ensure that in any functional area under consideration for review/realignment/restructure/reorganisation (however described) all statements of duties being undertaken are up to date and approved." This is also contained at Clause 6.1.11 of TAFE SA's Consultation and Change Policy, which states that managers shall “...Ensure existing role descriptors are up-to-date in consultation with the substantive incumbent prior to any change.” The PSA has requested TAFE SA's confirmation that it will undertake this process with all in-scope salaried employees prior to any implementation of any change.
  •  As noted above, the PSA agrees with the AEU that five working days consultation is not sufficient. The PSA only received the consultation documents on 6 February 2020, meaning that the consultation period has already decreased to four working days. In addition, the PSA requires the information requested above to enable fully informed consultation regarding this proposed restructure.

As such, the PSA advised TAFE SA that consultation cannot occur in a genuine manner until the above information has been received; and that the PSA will require ten working days consultation, as contained in the TAFE SA "Consultation and Change Management Work Instruction", once all the required information has been received.

The PSA has requested that TAFE SA respond to the above matters by 10:00am on Monday 10 February 2020.

Once the PSA has received a response and all the required information we will enter into formal consultation with members.

Members who have any initial comments or queries regarding this restructure are welcome to provide these via email to PSA, while awaiting the further information to allow for fully informed consultation.