TAFE SA | Urgent Update | Dispute Notified to The South Australian Employment Tribunal Regarding Restructures/Reviews and Realignments

07 December 2017

Further to the Public Service Association’s (PSA’s) Information Update of 5 December 2017 (here), TAFE SA has chosen to not accept the PSA’s request that all restructures/reviews and realignments be placed on hold and have advised that they will be continuing with current processes.

Instead of putting these processes on hold, TAFE SA invited the PSA to attend a staff forum on Monday 11 December to present the final Facilties and Procurement structure – indicating that they intend to proceed with internal restructures/reviews and realignments.

Due to TAFE SA’s failure to acknowledge our concerns and respond appropriately, the PSA has lodged a Notice of Industrial Dispute with the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET). The PSA has also written to the Minister for Higher Education and Skills to seek her intervention.

The current serious issues facing TAFE SA and the impending urgent external independent review mean that it is highly likely that many changes will need to occur within the organisation. One of the Terms of Reference of the external independent review is to provide recommendations regarding "Enhancing the internal capability of TAFE SA to perform this role and achieve outcomes effectively and efficiently, including structure, strategy, leadership, culture, planning, governance and delivery".

Given the reference to recommendations around structure and that each salaried staff member supports TAFE's services to students, the PSA asserts that no changes should be proposed or made at this point until such time as more is understood regarding recommendations from this independent review.

The PSA regard this to be a workplace change that will affect employees, and will require robust and genuine consultation with both the PSA and employees.

The PSA assert that TAFE SA has breached Clause 26 of the South Australian Public Sector Wages Parity Enterprise Agreement Salaried 2014 (EA) and as such formally notified a dispute to TAFE SA requesting:

  • That TAFE SA do not continue with, or undertake any more, internal Restructures/Reviews and Realignments; and
  • That status quo remain in all aspects of salaried staff roles and service delivery

TAFE SA have responded to the notification and advised that they will be continuing with all restructures/reviews and realignments. As such, the PSA has lodged a Notice of Industrial Dispute with the SAET in the interests of our members and service delivery.

While these processes are occurring the PSA urges members to not participate in any discussions or meetings regarding current or future internal restructures/reviews and realignments.

As reported in our previous Update, once further information is known the PSA will undertake meetings at all sites as well as hold a Skype meeting for all country members.