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Published on
19 Jun 2020

Government tables more proposals - PSA defends members’ rights

The PSA continued to defend members’ rights and hard-won conditions at the salaried Enterprise Bargaining General Meeting held on Wednesday this week.

Meanwhile, the government provided some more detail on their proposed cuts to PSA members’ conditions including a proposal to water down significantly the commitment to ongoing employment won by the PSA in the last round of negotiations. The government’s proposal goes so far as to remove the title – Commitment to Ongoing Employment - as well as replacing the current right to ongoing employment for successful graduates with a 12 month contract.

The government also introduced a new proposal to include increases to the cap on recreation leave loading into the enterprise agreement and tie those increases to the salary outcomes of the agreement. The recreation leave loading cap is currently set based upon the outcome of the state wage case, however the current government has not agreed to do this for the 2018 and 2019 increases. This is currently in dispute (read here) as the government appealed the decision of the SAET to increase the cap. This has now been heard in the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia, who referred the matter back to the Full Bench of the SAET.

Other government proposals related to:

  •  supervision training and work level definitions for psychologists – this follows the outcome of a case in the SAET;
  •  peer assessment for AHP Level 1 - changing the date of operation from the current date and application is received to the proposed ‘date lodged’;
  •  shift penalty provisions – the government describes this as a fix for an anomaly where some employees may work shifts which fall between the current times described in the award; and
  •  the content of many saved clauses previously outlined in our update here.

The PSA will consider these proposals and seek feedback from potentially affected members where applicable.

The PSA leadership confirmed – once again – our members’ commitment to retaining all current conditions, especially the job security and Redeployment Retraining and Redundancy (RRR) provisions.

A senior government HR/IR practitioner, also attending the meeting as a purported bargaining agent, proposed a review of Appendix 1, saying a review was “not such a bad idea” because the parties had such differing positions on it. It appeared their idea of the proposed review came from and would involve many of those same HR/IR practitioners who had told a previous EB meeting that managing RRR was “just too hard” (read here).

The PSA and all other unions unanimously opposed this proposal as it would significantly assist the government move towards achieving its RRR objectives, and would undermine the PSA members’ position. The PSA will not waver from our commitment to achieving PSA members’ objectives from this negotiation. And members continue to tell us that job security is their highest priority.

The government’s negotiator confirmed that the government has no interest in a review and that the government’s position remains the same. The government’s position is to remove the job security and RRR provisions (in Appendix 1) from the enterprise agreement – and then water them down into a non-enforceable policy.

The next salaried Enterprise Bargaining General Meeting will be held on 8 July 2020.

The PSA will keep members informed.

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