Government Agenda: Consult with you less, sack you more easily

15 January 2020

The government announced its hostile anti-worker agenda for a new salaried enterprise agreement at the Enterprise Bargaining meeting held today.


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 their mistakes.


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’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.


PSA General Secretary Nev Kitchin told the Government at the meeting 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 you are proposing today 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.’


Earlier at the meeting, the PSA sought to confirm the credentials and legitimacy of those attending the meeting. Those attending the meeting included the PSA; other unions; the government negotiators; HR and IR Directors, Managers and Advisers from various departments attending as observers and to assist the government negotiators; and an HR Director attending as an agent without authorisation who, during the meeting, established their credentials by arranging to represent one of the IR Advisers assisting the government who stated they are not a union member.


The PSA confirmed it is representing every PSA member covered by the agreement.


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.



Enterprise Bargaining Member Engagement

It is important PSA members continue to have their say about the next salaried enterprise agreement. PSA Organisers are continuing to hold meetings specifically about enterprise bargaining at worksites across the state. The PSA’s position will continue to be refined through the input of members at these worksite meetings and through your Worksite Representatives. Please make sure you get to these meetings to continue to provide your important contributions to your next agreement.