TAFE SA | Student Experience Restructure | Transition Issues, Vacancies and Local Workload Consultative Forums

26 May 2020

Public Service Association (PSA) members have raised many concerns with your PSA Worksite Representatives (WSRs) and your PSA Organiser about the transition into the new Student Experience structure. These have come from across Student Experience and the Educational Business Units, and include concerns about lack of handovers due to staff not being available for handover; lack of clear procedures; pre-training requirements not facilitated by TAFE SA for some staff; lack of experienced staff to mentor/coach new team members; and poor communication.

Members are also concerned that the understanding by upper management of these issues is very different to that of staff working within the teams. The PSA and your Worksite Representatives have been advocating strongly about the true experiences for staff during this transition.

This includes raising these issues with the Executive Director and Acting Director of People and Culture, and the Acting Director of Student Experience. Specific examples have been provided which the Acting Directors have confirmed will be explored further.

In addition, the PSA has suggested that a “checklist” is required for processes related to restructures and transitions. While TAFE SA said at the time that they would look into this, nothing happened. Therefore the PSA continued to raise these concerns following numerous issues arising during this Student Experience Restructure.

The Executive Director of People and Culture has now advised that TAFE SA is reviewing change and transition processes with the intention of addressing these issues. He has also advised that once a draft process has been developed, he will invite the PSA to work through this draft with TAFE SA so that they can consider any specific feedback that will support successful future transitions. We will ensure that members are involved in consultation about these draft processes.

TAFE SA has confirmed that all vacancies in the list provided to the PSA (here) are filled.  TAFE SA states that as soon as they are in a position to fill roles on an ongoing basis they will. This is after consideration of imminently excess staff. Until then, positions are being filled predominantly through fixed term contracts. If members believe this is not the case in your area and you still have roles not backfilled/filled, please contact your manager and Human Resource Business partner (HRBP), and if there are still concerns, contact your PSA Worksite Representative, or PSA Organiser Rosie Ratcliff.

Members will recall that a key outcome of the PSA dispute with TAFE SA about the Student Experience Restructure was an agreement from TAFE SA to monitor workload post the restructure through Local Workload Consultative Forums (LWCFs).

Now that implementation has occurred and vacancies are covered, the LWCFs will soon be able to commence. The Public Service Association (PSA) is now calling for additional members to participate in these forums.

These LWCFs will contain PSA representation from all Educational Business Units (EBUs). The purpose of these Forums, as per Clause 15 of the Enterprise Agreement “...is to facilitate consultation on issues about existing workloads or possible workload change and the monitoring of impacts resulting from such change.”

The PSA has previously provided members with the final draft Terms of Reference (TOR) provided by TAFE SA for the LWCFs, which will go to the first meeting of each LWCF for endorsement. It is noted that due to the EBU changes, the TOR for that LWCF will need to be amended to reflect those new groupings, however as a reminder, the final draft TOR can be found here.

Due to the number of impacted workgroups within TAFE SA, the PSA is seeking nominations from interested members to be involved in these forums (see below).

This is your opportunity to be involved in actively supporting fellow members with workload issues, and the resolution of those. PSA Organiser will provide training and support for PSA members who nominate.

The PSA will also hold a training session by Zoom for all TAFE SA PSA WSRs/members who will be participating in the LWCFs. Further details will be provided to participants once these people are confirmed.

Please express your interest in nominating by emailing PSA by Wednesday 3 June 2020. If you would like to know more about what is involved, please contact your Organiser.