Tafe SA - Ongoing Consultation Concerns and Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Creche Dispute - Updates

21 December 2018

Ongoing consultation concerns
Public Service Association (PSA) members would recall from the previous PSA Information Update on 13 December 2018 that the PSA had 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.

As part of that letter, the PSA advised TAFE SA that staff across TAFE SA have reported feeling frustrated at the continuing issues with consultation, and that they constantly have to raise these issues both individually and via the PSA just to receive appropriate consultation. The PSA also advised that members have requested the PSA escalate to dispute immediately if any further breaches of consultation occur, given the repeated advocacy required by the PSA on behalf of members to correct these processes and to ensure that members are consulted genuinely and in good faith as they are legally entitled to.

The PSA also requested that TAFE SA review of their consultation processes and provide further education to relevant staff regarding their legal obligations to consult in a genuine and good faith manner.

The Interim CE has responded, advising that TAFE SA will undertake this review as requested, including the current TAFE SA Consultation and Change Policy. Following this, TAFE SA will provide education to Executive, Business Unit Directors, Managers, and Human Resource and Organisational Development staff. The PSA hopes this will improve processes for all PSA members and staff across TAFE SA.

Amep creche dispute
In the same PSA Information Update dated 13 December 2018, the PSA also advised of notification of a formal dispute with the Interim CE in relation to consultation about the realignment of the AMEP Creches due to incomplete responses to PSA and members’ feedback and no Workload Assessment had been provided.

TAFE SA did not respond to the PSA. A Notification of Dispute was lodged in the South Australian Employment Tribunal on 14 December 2018.

Soon after that lodgement TAFE SA responded to the PSA providing the outstanding information required as part of consultation. Based on this response and further clarification provided by TAFE SA, the PSA withdrew the dispute and will continue to support members and monitor the strategies proposed by TAFE SA in regards to workloads, such as regular team meetings occurring with staff to monitor team activities. The PSA encourage all staff to raise any concerns such as impact on support provided to them, additional duties placed on them, and any other workload concerns to both TAFE SA and the PSA to ensure these issues are addressed immediately.