27 May 2020
Members’ proposed improvements tabled today
PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin presented the PSA’s negotiating position to the government negotiators at the Enterprise Bargaining General Meeting for the salaried enterprise agreement held today. The full statement is reproduced below.
Earlier in the meeting, the government confirmed that their ‘position is to continue on the basis of their agenda’. That is, remove your job security provisions (Appendix 1 – which includes Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy - RRR); reduce your rights to be to be consulted about changes in the workplace; and water down your grievance and dispute rights.
The government further confirmed that they are committed to negotiating a new agreement and confirmed that are not interested in any short-term interim arrangements (e.g. 12 month rollover).
Negotiations will continue, with the next Enterprise Bargaining General Meeting to be held on Wednesday 17 June 2020
Statement of the General Secretary of the Public Service Association of South Australia
The PSA’s negotiating position is based on extensive engagement with members.
Members have consistently told us the most important things to them are:
- job protection;
- protection from, and processes to deal with, unreasonable workloads;
- maintaining current conditions of employment;
- maintaining effective redeployment systems and processes; and
- a fair and reasonable pay increase.
These are the matters we have emphasised with the government at every single meeting.
These key areas are the foundation of our approach and expectations for this round of enterprise bargaining. These are the things that will create an employment environment which will allow public sector workers to continue to provide quality public services to the people of South Australia.
I reconfirm our strong rejection of the Government’s enterprise bargaining agenda, in particular the proposed removal of RRR and reductions to consultation and dispute resolution. Nothing the government or your agency representatives has presented to this meeting shows any evidence of a process that is failing or gives any support to your position of wanting to change the current RRR process. All we have heard is evidence of poor practice on the ground.
The government’s agenda is a baseless ideological attack on public service workers which provides nothing to foster a good working environment for the benefit of the workers or the people of South Australia.
In addition to the matters I mentioned which are of most importance to our members, the PSA today advises in summary form the modest improvements members are seeking through this enterprise bargaining process. Themes summarising these modest improvements have been unanimously endorsed by the PSA Council and Worksite Representatives who have attended our enterprise bargaining seminars.
The themes include:
- strengthening the commitment to ongoing employment
- greater protection against inappropriate behaviours in the workplaces
- hours of work – for clarity about hours and related matters and for equitable and consistent shift work conditions
- Parental Leave - to ensure equity of access, no disadvantage from transferring to a safe job, and addressing the disadvantage arising from absences from the workplace on parental leave
- improving special leave provisions, so that, for example, leave for volunteers in emergency services is consistent with the federal provisions
- ensuring that all relevant agencies and authorities and their employees are covered by the agreement
- dealing with specific career group issues, including, for example, some AHP, AHA, TGO, and OPS Stream matters
- dealing with some agency specific matters including SA Pathology, CFS and SES, and Corrections matters.
As is usual in negotiations, the PSA reserves the right to modify our position in relation to these themes as negotiations progress.
Strength in numbers – join the union
Enterprise bargaining is a great opportunity to stand together in union with your colleagues, and to talk with your colleagues who are yet to join about why it is important to be a union member, and the great things we can achieve together. Our continued strong membership, engagement and member actions are the key elements to protecting and building on what we achieved in the last agreement.
You can help build a strong bargaining position by:
- Asking your co-workers to join the PSA.
- Encouraging your colleagues to attend PSA meetings via video conference or at your workplace or agency when appropriate.
- Consider becoming a Worksite Representative and contacting your PSA Organiser.
With PSA membership you know you're protected at work and have access to a huge range of member benefits. We strive for a South Australian public sector in which staff are highly valued and well resourced, with fair and secure working conditions.