The Finance Group Review is now in consultation phase, with 20 December the closing date for feedback. The PSA (CPSU) was briefed on this around the same time as members. Your union opposes the continued job cuts TAFE NSW is pushing through and is worried this is just the first of many job cuts to come.
The move to “One TAFE” is likely to see more job cuts as ‘centralised service models’ are introduced. This is likely to see jobs slashed as more and more internal services move to the “One TAFE” model. There may be some increases to employee numbers in some areas but PSA (CPSU) expects the number of jobs to be cut will exceed the number of jobs that may be created.
Management will be conducting a roadshow and providing information around the review. We urge all members to attend these meetings and seek as much information as possible. When you are ready to submit your feedback, please copy it to and ask for it to be passed on to the Industrial Advocate looking after this restructure, Phoebe Dangerfield. Alternatively, you can submit feedback to the MSC before 16 December and your union will add it to its response and submit it for you.
The proposals are detailed, and members need to check the relevant Position Descriptions to see if what is being proposed captures the work required. Where there are gaps or issues, you can identify please report all issues to TAFE NSW and copy the CPSU in so we can support members’ submissions. Confidential feedback to TAFE can be made at staff.tafensw.edu.au/one-tafe/people-and-structure-changes/ and to and attention: Phoebe Dangerfield.
We are raising these issues with management on your behalf as we receive them and through the formal feedback processes. Members can also request a review of your appointment, which will initially happen locally. You can then request a review by the centrally based review panel if you don’t agree with the local response.
Industrial Advocate Phoebe Dangerfield will be attending member meetings across the Institutes in the coming weeks. Please try to attend member meetings, particularly if you are affected by this restructure.
The review contains a new People Placement Process in which TAFE looks to maximise the retention of employees. While we agree with the sentiment, we do not agree with all that is contained in the process and have concerns around how some of it may affect PSA (CPSU) members.
Increased priority for long-term temporary employees (but not long-term higher duties)
This is a welcome development for areas where there are genuine, long-term temporary employees.However, this is not necessarily suitable for every work unit. Initial reports from members indicate that there are employees working in higher duties positions for more than five years. Where there are employees working in long term higher duty positions these should also be treated the same as long-term temporary positions.
The Government Sector Employment Rules also have provisions allowing employees who work higher duties in a more senior role to be converted to ongoing similar to long-term temporary employees. This applies generally to the NSW public sector and the PSA (CPSU) will advocate for this change for employees at TAFE NSW. We also ask that members also directly request these changes, too. The more members who provide feedback to both TAFE NSW and the PSA (CPSU) the stronger we can fight to reduce the negative impacts on union members.
Direct placement to other locations
TAFE NSW wants to directly place any metropolitan employee, anywhere within the four metropolitan Institutes: Northern Sydney, Sydney, South Western Sydney and Western Sydney. This could be anywhere from Richmond to Campbelltown, to Hornsby or Loftus.
For regional employees, TAFE NSW wants to directly place employees anywhere within 50km of where you currently work, not where you currently live.
Where the position is moving from the Sydney are to a regional area a direct offer may be made. Direct offers may also be made if the position is moved more than 50km away. The difference between a direct offer and a direct appointment is that you do not have to accept the direct offer.
The PSA (CPSU) is not convinced TAFE NSW has the legal power under the Fair Work Act to relocate staff in this way. Relocation can only occur where the relocation is reasonable, taking into account the following matters:
If the relocation is not reasonable for the employee affected, then the employee should be made genuinely redundant. The PSA (CPSU) will advocate TAFE NSW make a “Direct Offer” to any affected employee whose position is required to move location.
There are 47 jobs TAFE NSW is proposing make a “Direct Offer” to the affected employees. This would result in a considerable relocation for the employee which many people will not be able to accept. This will increase the 46 proposed redundancies to a possible 93 redundancies. Where relocation is not possible, the NSW Baird Government will fund the redundancy so TAFE NSW can replace employees to do the same work at one of the other 130+ TAFE campuses. There are 13 jobs moving to the Sydney metro area with the rest moving to different regional locations.
As we work our way through the coming restructures it is important that you have a say and your voice is heard. You can support the work of your union and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN the PSA (CPSU).
Please forward this to your colleagues so that they know what their rights are, and encourage them to JOIN the PSA (CPSU).