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Published on
22 Jan 2020

PSA Council position on government EB agenda

In response to the government’s hostile anti-worker agenda for a new salaried enterprise agreement, the PSA Council has confirmed its endorsement of the statement made by the General Secretary on behalf of members to the government at the last SBC Enterprise Bargaining meeting.
Motion of the PSA Council:

That the PSA Council endorses the statement of the General Secretary at the SBC Meeting of 15 January 2020, that is, that Job Security is the number one priority of PSA members.

The provisions our union negotiated around Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy in the last agreement equates to the minimum standard processes and supports our members will accept. Any changes to the current RRR provisions would need to be for the benefit of employees to be considered by our membership.

What the government has proposed is to the detriment of employees, and as such the PSA can state with confidence that on behalf of our members we reject the Government's proposals.

70% of our members recently surveyed have gone through a restructure in the life of the current agreement. As at 30 June 2019 there were 11 excess employees in the Public Sector. This shows that the RRR provisions are working efficiently and well for all parties, and that there is no need for change.

The PSA will not accept any offer that includes reductions to the highly effective RRR process that was first introduced in 2014, and has been improved for everyone's benefit in subsequent agreements.

The PSA will not accept the reductions to current conditions as proposed today. Dispute resolution and consultation are core rights of our members.

The government’s agenda is to minimise the influence members have on their daily working lives through consultation, make it easier to sack public servants, all while reducing your ability to dispute non-compliance with industrial instruments.
 The government’s main agenda for a new agreement is to:

  • Remove Appendix 1, Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy (RRR) from your enterprise agreement
  • Slash the 12 month redeployment period
  • Remove all RRR accountability and make it unenforceable
  • Cut consultation clauses to reduce matters that require consultation
  • Cut the dispute resolution clauses to minimise capacity for employees and unions to resolve disputes
  • Change the long established definition of status quo in disputes such that it only applies if there is a WHS risk
  • Remove Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Change the way the rate of pay during maternity leave is calculated
  • Review the saved clauses contained in the appendices of your agreement with a view to removing them.

The government also proposed at the SBC meeting a number of other items on their agenda they described as ‘minor’:

  • Remove a number of clauses that were operational clauses effective over the life of the agreement, such as clause 39 Reviews - which the government believes have been undertaken
  • Remove clause 6 – Modernisation of Agreement
  • Remove clause 7 – Hours
  • Remove clause 40 – ASO1 Classification Audit
  • Remove clause 41 and Appendix 11 – Injury and Income Protection for Work Injuries (now in the award)
  • Remove clause 42 – Transition Arrangements for Renewal SA
  • Confirm the date of AHP reclassification by peer assessment to be the date the peer assessment is lodged
  • Amend Schedule 1.2A to address the Full Bench of the South Australian Employment Court’s decision in relation to Endorsed Supervision Training – Psychologists
  • Insert a new clause around the respective allowances for Hours of Duty Outside the Span of 8:00am to 6:00pm, particularly for employees who may work a rostered period that ‘straddles’ into both the afternoon and night shift provisions.

The government’s agenda was delivered verbally and contained no further details.

The government’s agenda shows the utter disrespect it has for Public Sector workers and the services you provide. Not one item on the government’s main agenda is to the benefit of employees or the taxpayers of South Australia.

The next Single Bargaining Centre meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 February 2020.

Members will be provided with a further update on negotiations following that meeting.

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