Tafe SA – Update of Dispute – Education Division and Expressions of Interest for Targeted Voluntary Separation Packages (TVSPs)

07 September 2017

As reported in the Public Service Association’s (PSA) earlier Information Update to members on 4 September 2017, the PSA has received contact from members concerned that TAFE SA is attempting to reduce positions in a manner inconsistent with SA Government requirements, in the absence of a Review/Restructure, and in the absence of any formal consultation. Essentially that TAFE SA is conducting a covert Review/Restructure without ensuring that full and genuine consultation occurs.

As per the Update, the PSA had written to the Chief Executive of TAFE SA seeking an urgent response so that the matter could be resolved. No response has been received.

As a result of TAFE SA’s inaction the PSA has lodged a notification of dispute in the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) – formerly the Industrial Relations Commission of SA. The PSA has sought that the matter be listed for as soon as possible, given that TAFE SA had not responded and any further progression in absence of required processes may jeopardise outcomes for members.

What Does This Mean For PSA Members?

  • The PSA is not trying to stop the invitation of expressions of interest in receiving a TVSP – we are aware that members may be interested in this opportunity.
  • However, the process needs to be followed as per SA Government criteria and the consultation processes in the Enterprise Agreement, for the benefit of ALL members – those who are wanting TVSPs, and those remaining in the Public Service.
  • As per Department of Treasury and Finance documentation, and Commissioner’s Determination 7, in a Review/Restructure where reductions in positions are proposed, expressions of interest in TVSPs can be sought, as part of a process involving full and genuine consultation which provides safeguards for all members. This is the process that until now, TAFE SA has followed when there are changes to work practices/structures.
  • However TAFE SA continue to deny this is a Review/Restructure, thereby not allowing for full and genuine consultation about all aspects of reductions of positions.
  • The PSA has continued to seek clarity from TAFE SA so that all members can have an open and transparent process – however the Chief Executive has not responded at all.
  • By seeking the assistance of SAET – the “independent umpire” - to request that TAFE SA provides this information and follows the correct processes – all members will be confident of all their options and that whatever transpires, it will be conducted in a manner that provides safeguards for all.

The PSA will provide a further update following the hearing in SAET.