TAFE SA Ongoing Consultation Concerns – Letter to Interim Chief Executive

13 December 2018

The Public Service Association (PSA) has written to the Interim Chief Executive (CE) of TAFE SA, Ms Alex Reid, on behalf of members expressing concern regarding the repeated issues with consultation by TAFE SA. The letter to the Interim CE can be found here.

The PSA and your Worksite Representatives have continually expressed concerns about poor consultation processes but have seen little or no improvement.

It is the view of the PSA that TAFE SA has not complied with the consultation clause in the Enterprise Agreement, which states:

34.1.2 Employers and Agencies consult in good faith, not simply advise what will be done

34.1.4 Workplace change, including any restructure/reorganisation (however described) that will affect employees should not be implemented before appropriate consultation has occurred with employee representations

The most recent example has been the relocation of key courses from the Port Adelaide prior to the proposed closure of the campus. In this matter there has been a rushed consultation with no opportunity for genuine consultation. The PSA was only advised after a decision has been made, including moving to implement the decision through discussions with students and staff about alternate campuses.

On the same day, the PSA also notified a formal dispute with the Acting CE in relation to consultation about the realignment of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Creches. This dispute arises as there has been no response to PSA and members’ feedback and no Workload Assessment had been provided. Despite this, TAFE SA is intending to move ahead with these changes which again breaches the consultation clause of the Agreement.

On the recent PSA visits and video link up members across TAFE SA said they were frustrated at continuing poor consultation. They reported having to constantly raise issues both individually and via the PSA just to receive information or to have their views heard.

PSA members have requested the PSA escalate to dispute immediately if any further breaches of consultation occur with the aim of ensuring members are consulted genuinely and in good faith as per the Enterprise Agreement.

In order to reassure members that these matters will be taken seriously by TAFE SA, the PSA has requested that TAFE SA undertake an internal review of their consultation processes to ensure both the procedures being used and the knowledge of Managers, Human Resource Business Partners and Industrial staff is up to date with the consultation processes that TAFE SA is legally obligated to undertake are adhered to.

The PSA will keep members updated on this matter.