About the PSA and CPSU
The Public Service Association of NSW (PSA) is the pre-eminent union which represents New South Wales Government, NSW University and related private sector employees. The union is registered under New South Wales state legislation.
All PSA members are also members of the SPSF Group of the Community and Public Sector Union, which is a federal union registered under Commonwealth legislation (the Fair Work Act).
The PSA has over 44,500 members making it one of the largest and most effective unions in NSW. The CPSU is also the largest education union in Australia.
The PSA/CPSU provides a truly local and democratic voice for TAFE workers to join together to achieve and maintain safe workplaces, better pay and improved rights at work. After all our primary goal is to collectively represent and advance the interests of our members, and we have a strong history of negotiating good wages and good working conditions.
For more information and the union’s history, visit www.psa.labor.net.au
OurTAFE is a place where TAFE employees can come for information, or to ask questions about the changes and challenges they face.
NSW Government attacks wages and conditions of TAFE employees
Late 2011 the NSW Government pushed legislation through parliament that forced NSW TAFE workers out of the NSW industrial relations system and into the Commonwealth industrial relations system.
In addition the legislation mandated that that only five basic award conditions would be protected over the next twelve months.
This means that a significant number of important conditions of employment were legally jettisoned by the NSW Government.
Those conditions the Government stripped away from TAFE workers include:
• dispute resolution & grievances
• meal breaks
• protections regarding discipline and termination of employment
• incremental progression
• flexitime & RDOs
• conversion of casuals and long term temporaries.
Why have the Government and TAFE taken such drastic action?
Clearly the bargaining strategy of the NSW Government is that everything is up for grabs – your pay and conditions are on the line.
The Deputy Director General Department of Education and Communities has spoken of the need to give TAFE “greater flexibility” and to restore “employer power to TAFE.”
Greater flexibility is often code for cutting wages, cutting jobs and cutting conditions.
In stripping TAFE workers of all but five basic conditions, the Government and TAFE are trying place downward pressure on your pay and conditions before we start negotiating a new enterprise agreement.
In addition they will try and apply the draconian NSW Government wages policy, which limits pay increases to 2.5%.
Until we win a new enterprise agreement your manager could take any non protected condition off you. You could lose your flex time, your meal break or you could be face allegations of misconduct or poor performance without being protected by the statutory guidelines that previously protected you.
This is why it is crucial that we campaign hard to ensure that all the current conditions of employment are picked up in a new enterprise agreement.
What is enterprise bargaining?
Enterprise bargaining is the process of negotiation between TAFE and the PSA/CPSU with the goal of making an enterprise agreement.