Monday, 2 December 2019

CPSU NSW goes to Fair Work over restructure plan

CPSU NSW in FWC – Dec 2019 (PDF version)

On Friday 29 November the CPSU NSW appeared in the Fair Work Commission over the course of the day to argue that the proposed restructure in TAFE NSW be halted. We argued the consultation period was inadequate for our members’ views to be heard, and as such was in breach of the recently made enterprise agreement. The Commission on the day was only willing to provide a recommendation as to how the restructure should be implemented, which after consultation with your delegates we have rejected as inadequate. The CPSU NSW is now taking steps to lodge the requisite paperwork to seek urgent orders. We anticipate we will be granted an urgent hearing later this week.

Consultation with employees is a fundamental industrial right. It provides your union with the opportunity to voice its concerns about the impacts of the proposed restructure affected staff and operations of the organisation of job losses. Adding to our concerns is the timing of the restructure. Putting people out of work just before Christmas is heartless and has the potential to adversely impact employees unnecessarily.

We have been advised that TAFE NSW intends to issue letters to affected employees notifying them of their right to a voluntary redundancy today. The CPSU NSW considers this action to be a potential aggravating breach of your enterprise agreement in that, having been advised that we are in dispute it states that, “the parties to the dispute shall not take any other action likely to exacerbate the dispute”, and we intend to make these concerns known to the Commission at our next appearance.

Members will have 14 days to make a decision whether to accept the voluntary redundancy or not. Our advice is to not respond to this correspondence until after this week’s hearings in the Commission, which will hopefully at the minimum provide new and more appropriate timeframes for consultation to occur. The CPSU NSW will provide members of the outcome of these proceedings later this week so that no member’s rights are adversely impacted by not immediately responding.

A small delegation of officials concurrently met with Minister Dr Geoff Lee last week and our concerns regarding the impact and process of the restructure were raised. Unfortunately, the Minister stood by the advice of TAFE NSW that the restructure would not have an impact on service delivery, we are now working on providing information to him that demonstrates that he is mistaken and how it will.

The CPSU NSW wants all TAFE NSW members to know that we are committed to you and will explore every legal recourse available to stop this unfair, ill-considered and poorly timed job cuts. As we have repeatedly said all year, now is the time to Rebuild our TAFE…. not further decimate it. Stay tuned for further information on both our Commission appearance and, if necessary, protest actions where your participation will be vital to our success. With your involvement and the guidance of your committee of delegates we are stronger than ever.


  1. Talk to your workmates about what is happening.
  2. Contact the CPSU NSW’s Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 to organise a members’ meeting
  3. Share this Bulletin with other TAFE staff
  4. Join the CPSU NSW HERE.


Industrial Manager
Anne Kennelly

Shane Jobberns

Chris Bird

Your CPSU NSW Delegates

South Region

Brad Cowie – Wollongong

Robert Wurth – Illawarra

Regina Kimmich – Illawarra

Chris Pickering – Illawarra

Christopher Hobbins – Albury

West Region

Leanne Riley – Parkes

Patricia Nethery – Dubbo

North Region

Gale Iseppi – Hunter

Liz Garlick – Tighes Hill

Stephen O’Brien – Newcastle

Brook Down – Coffs Harbour

Garry Smith – North

Sydney Region

Dawn Davis – Ultimo

George Bissoli – Ultimo

Simon Gray – Ultimo

Joe Harris – St Leonards

Patrick Kiss – Hornsby

Western Sydney Region

Tracey Doyle – Campbelltown

Joanna Carroll – West Sydney

Glenda Pryor – Blue Mountains

Isabella Ramirra – Strathfield

Jin Cho – TAFE Digital