Courts Administration Authority | Consultation Around Change

24 May 2019

What is consultation around change and when is it required? What should you expect your employer to do when change is proposed? PSA members have reported change happening in workplaces but your employer, CAA, has not been formally advising the PSA nor providing the information other public service agencies and departments do when change occurs in their workplaces.

The PSA has been advised at least 15 positions have been lost through the TVSP program arising out of State Government’s budget cuts. The detail around that change has not been forthcoming for almost all those roles despite the PSA seeking the information and the opportunity to meet with affected staff.

The PSA has raised issues about workplace change at the Workplace Consultative Forum on behalf of PSA members. The PSA has sought information regarding workplace change through this forum and in correspondence outside of the forum. It is disappointing that it has now become necessary for the PSA to write directly to members seeking the information CAA management has declined to provide.

Why consult?
Consultation about workplace change allows you to influence change and have some say in what is important to your workload, job satisfaction, job security and the quality of service you provide. Good consultation leads to better decision making because you know your work best and understand the implications of change.

The decision makers choose whether they will adopt those ideas or not based on whatever other information, frequently budget limitations, they have but the bottom line is it makes sense to include you when implementing change rather than decide what is good for you without asking what you think.

What is CAA’s position?
The CAA has refused to provide to the PSA details of the roles that have been lost and put in place barriers that have not enabled the PSA to consult with members about changes, as required by the Enterprise Agreement.

The CAA has also declined to inform you or the PSA of changes to work that have taken place arising from the fact that a number of staff have left, unless management decide there is something to tell. This again is not asking you what is good for you, management are deciding whether things are your concern.

What does the Enterprise Agreement say?
Any proposal for change is subject to consultation according to clause 34 of the South Australian Modern Public Service Enterprise Agreement: Salaried 2017 (SAMPSEAS):

34. CONSULTATIVE PROCESSES

34.1 The parties commit to the following consultative principles.

34.1.1 Consultation involves the sharing of information and the exchange of views between employers and persons or bodies that must be consulted and the genuine opportunity for them to contribute effectively to any decision making process. This includes consultation with the applicable union whose members are affected.

34.1.2 Employers and Agencies consult in good faith, not simply advise what will be done.

34.1.4 Workplace change, including any restructure/reorganisation (however described) that will affect employees should not be implemented before appropriate consultation has occurred with employee representatives.

Any proposal for change must also consider workloads according to clause 15.2 of the SAMPSEAS:

15. WORKLOAD MANAGEMENT
PROTECTION FROM UNREASONABLE WORKLOADS

15.1 The parties acknowledge that the workload for individual employees or a group of
employees in a workplace (work group) must not be excessive, unreasonable or
unsustainable.

15.2 Any proposed review or proposed workplace change must include as part of consultation,
an assessment of the potential impact on workloads for individual employees or a work
group in a workplace and measures proposed to manage such impacts. The intent of
managing impacts must be to minimise the risk of unreasonable workloads.

What should members do?

  •  Tell your management that you are entitled to be consulted under your agreement.
  •  Advise the PSA if you have lost positions at your workplace or there are proposals for workplace change.
  •  Speak to your PSA Worksite Representative or nominate one from your workplace
  •  Talk to your workmates about what can make your working life better and improve your job satisfaction – PSA will attend any meeting you wish to organise