COVID-19: What Does This Mean for SSOs?

24 March 2020

Despite the mixed messages between the Federal and State approaches to closing schools, South Australian schools will remain open at this stage.
 
The PSA understands that a lack of clear direction for parents and staff from the government at this time of unprecedented uncertainty leaves members confused and concerned about what their rights are. Please refer to the PSA’s information update from last week here which details additional special leave provisions put in place by the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment for public sector workers in South Australia.
 
The PSA has been meeting regularly by phone with the Department for Education to discuss the implications of the virus for staff. We are well aware that a large number of SSOs are on temporary contracts, including term by term contracts, and many SSOs have been working in this way for a number of years.
 
The PSA has called for the Department to commit to continuing term contracts to provide security for SSOs and stability for students.
 
This should be done well before the end of the school term.
 
Our members have also called for clear information and protection for SSOs who may have hours threatened due to lower student attendance, have their own children and caring responsibilities, are at risk or immunocompromised, as well as the provisions for if/when schools do close. These issues will be raised by the PSA in direct discussions with the Department.
 
Please send any further questions and issues that you have about the current situation by email so we can include them in our discussions.
 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the hard work you are doing in our community. The support and guidance you provide to students will no doubt be an invaluable comfort to them during this time. The PSA understands this is a very stressful time and we remind you to take care of yourselves and one another.