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Published on
08 Sep 2021

Salaried EB Negotiations: Government still wants changes

Negotiations at the EB General Meeting held yesterday (Monday, 6 September 2021) focused on the government’s proposals for a draft enterprise agreement which was supplied late on Friday afternoon.

At the meeting the PSA required the government to explain their reasoning behind the changes they were proposing.

The government’s working document focuses solely on their agenda. While the government’s proposals mostly deal with updating various technical matters, they still continue with some of their regressive original proposals, for example proposed changes to Mental Health First Aid Training as well as the rights of graduates. The PSA signalled that we will provide our own proposals about some of the issues highlighted by the government.

The government’s document oddly indicates they no longer consider the enterprise agreement as a tool to ‘advance the objects of, and the public sector principles and practices referred to in, the Public Sector Act 2009’. The PSA’s position is that enterprise agreements do not just contain your entitlements, they are statements of the aspirations and intent of the parties, and a measure of the respect between employer and employee.

The government’s document also places a new emphasis on Workplace Flexibility Agreements as an object of the agreement. When asked about all these changes, the government was unable to provide any discernible response other that they want to make the agreement ‘more concise’.

It is important to note that the government’s proposals do not take account of any of PSA Members’ agenda. Aside from Appendix 1 Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy (RRR), the PSA is yet to begin negotiations on the other items of importance on our agenda as we first deal with the government’s proposals. The PSA expects that negotiations on the PSA agenda will be a focus in coming meetings.

An enterprise agreement is a whole package. There are a number of matters – both from the government and the PSA – that still need to be resolved through these negotiations before we achieve that complete package.

The PSA will continue to review and consider the government’s proposals in the context of the entirety of all proposals (i.e. the full package) for a new agreement.

Members will be kept informed as negotiations progress.

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