TAFE members on strike – April 2016 (PDF version)

A meeting of your PSA (CPSU) TAFE Delegates Council has approved the taking of Protected Industrial Action on Thursday 28 April, in the form of a three-hour stop-work meeting from 1:00pm-4:00pm. All members are directed to participate.

Why are members taking Protected Industrial Action?

Your PSA (CPSU) bargaining team has met consistently with TAFENSW management since June 2015 to negotiate your enterprise agreement. TAFENSW has refused to withdraw its proposal to slash your working conditions, even after staff overwhelmingly voted NO to their slashed conditions in September 2015.

Protected Industrial Action

Since our members approved the ballot authorising Protected Industrial Action, TAFENSW has made some indications it wishes to avoid further disruption and negotiate around some claims. Whilst this is encouraging, a vast majority of claims are still not formally agreed upon, including TAFENSW’s proposal to increase the hours of work for 80 percent of the workforce from 35 hours to 36.25 hours for no extra pay. A strong message is needed from members to make it clear to management TAFE staff will not allow their conditions to be slashed.

The taking of Protected Industrial Action is a legitimate way to encourage TAFENSW to back away from their unfair claims. If attempting to bargain with TAFENSW in good faith is not working, we have no other option.

All members are directed to participate in Protected Industrial Action:

Thursday 28 April


Meeting point: Ultimo College of TAFE (Harris Street entrance).

The PSA understands it may be difficult for members, especially in our regions, to meet at Ultimo.  Ultimo TAFE has been chosen as the main rally point as it will be the easiest for media agencies to cover our strike. Members who are unable to join the main rally point at Ultimo TAFE are directed to meet out the front of their college grounds and post a photo of their group with the hashtag #SaveOurTAFE on social media platforms, or send to .

However, all metro members who are able to travel to Ultimo TAFE are directed to do so. Staff may be able to schedule their day so they have their lunch break at 12:00pm as this may give extra time to travel to Ultimo.

Can TAFE discipline me for taking Protected Industrial Action?

NO. TAFE is prohibited from taking adverse action against you for taking part in an industrial activity. If TAFE contravenes these protections, it can be liable for penalties of up to $54,000. Additionally, any individual manager found to take adverse action against a worker can be liable for a penalty of up to $10,800. The PSA (CPSU) will strongly defend our members from any adverse action.

Will I be paid whilst taking Protected Industrial Action?

NO. It is illegal for TAFENSW to pay an employee whilst they are taking industrial action. However, the loss of three hours’ pay is minor in comparison to the slashed conditions TAFENSW wants to implement, including increasing the hours of work by 1.25 hours every week for no extra pay for the majority of the workforce.

Not a member?

Non-members cannot participate in Protected Industrial Action. Non-members need to join the PSA (CPSU) today so that they can support their union colleagues in this industrial action to achieve a FAIR Agreement for ALL. Union fees are fully tax-deductable, and members receive a number of included benefits, including journey insurance, that non-members do not. Go to www.psa.asn.au to join the PSA and join the campaign to protect your working conditions.

What’s next for bargaining?

The next bargaining meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 20 April. To avoid any further period of Protected Industrial Action, TAFENSW needs to bring an offer to the table that is fair and reasonable.

Broken Shifts for Security and General Service Officers

A number of Security and General Service Officers have contacted the PSA to gain a clarification on broken shifts arrangements. TAFENSW is proposing to extend broken shifts  to all staff, but backed away from that claim after our successful Protected Action Ballot. As such, all current conditions in regards to broken shifts will remain in place. If you do not currently work in a position that includes broken shifts, there are no changes proposed to force you to do so.