Enterprise Agreement Update and Chief Executive, Rick Persse Answers Your Questions

13 December 2019

PSA Accepts offer for a new Enterprise Agreement - now it is time to vote
The PSA has formally written to the Government accepting their offer for an Enterprise Agreement offer. The offer contains a number of improvements for our SSO members that members were seeking and the PSA asked for. Members have received information from the PSA about the offer in a previous information update and in a letter.

The next step of the process is a formal ballot conducted by the Government of all staff covered under the Enterprise Agreement. We urge PSA members to vote yes in this ballot. If the majority of employees vote yes, it will become your new agreement.

The most important issues facing SSOs are reclassification and permanency. Next year, the PSA will be focusing on these priorities using the provisions of the new agreement to argue for permanent jobs and more SSO1s moving to SSO2. If you have colleagues, please encourage them to join the PSA so we have an even stronger voice to achieve this.

Rick Perrse answers SSOs’ questions
As members would be aware, Rick Perrse, Chief Executive of the Department for Education attended the PSA’s SSO Conference in August 2019 and invited the PSA to write to him with questions our members had about their employment.

The response received 9 December 2019 can be viewed here.

The letter reiterates what Mr Persse said at our SSO Conference in August – that “SSOs are valued and important members of the department’s workforce”. We know this is true. You know this is true. The Department’s executives acknowledge that this is true. Our challenge now is to turn these words into reality at school level by being properly classified for the work you do and securely employed.

A number of times throughout the letter, Mr Persse reiterates the department’s position on topics such as classification or job security, and puts the onus back on SSOs and the PSA to notify the department when schools are not following the right procedures. This is why it is so important to encourage your colleagues to join the union and for you to be active members. The better educated we are about our rights and conditions, the more empowered we are to ensure that they are enforced fairly and equitably.

To this end, please provide the PSA any examples of school leadership or people and culture representatives:

  •  refusing to undertake the SSO1 to SSO2 classification review, or refusing to follow the department’s outlined process in doing so
  •  refusing reclassification for SSOs due to budget considerations
  •  indicating that reclassification of SSOs will disadvantage the students receiving support or deny someone else a job or hours
  •  victimising staff members for raising complaints or concerns, including by refusing additional hours or not renewing a contract
  •  giving advice that appears to conflict with industrial instruments or department policy

Please provide your examples to PSA so that we may follow up with the department directly. All examples will be de-identified except for school/site name. Examples already provided in the PSA SSO Classification Survey do not need to be resubmitted.

There is an offer in the CE’s letter to set up regular meetings between the Department and the PSA to address issues from our SSO members. These meetings will commence early next year.

Thank you for all work this year supporting the children and young people you work with. Thanks also for your involvement as union members. Enjoy a well deserved break. We look forward to working with you again next year.