Unions have slammed the SA Government for using “bizarre” tactics to push South Australia’s 35,000 salaried public sector workers to sign up to an EBA that would see workers far worse off.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Unions were presented with a first draft of an enterprise agreement only one hour before a meeting yesterday afternoon, giving them no time to consult or discuss it with their members.
Unions were then informed that the Government would force a staff ballot on the draft agreement on 29 October, even though negotiations which started in May, have not been completed.
Professionals Australia director Sarah Andrews said that it would be “irresponsible” for unions to put the draft agreement to her members in its current state.
“We are extremely disappointed that the Government has completely disrupted the negotiation process by resorting to these dirty tricks and games.
“The Government is effectively using bullying tactics to push through a pay deal that would strip public sector workers of important conditions.
“This is a slap in the face for dedicated and committed workers who serve our community every day. These people are not asking for the moon, they just want fair pay and conditions.
Unions involved in the negotiation united in their opposition of the Government’s push to force a ballot on an unfinished agreement include Professionals Australia, HSU, the Ambulance Association and the Psychologists Association.
“We cannot endorse the draft agreement as it stands. We are calling on the Government to come back to the negotiating table and talk this through like adults.
The draft agreement presented to unions yesterday afternoon would see staff wages fall behind inflation, and cut important conditions such as tenure of employment.
“Tenure is extremely important for public sector workers as there is an increasing push from Government to put them on short-term contracts, making their work dangerously insecure.
“The Government needs to respect these workers, rather than trying to bully them into an agreement that sets them back.
Professionals Australia represents medical scientists, medical physicists (the people that control cancer treatment and radiation machines), engineers and environmental professionals. Medical physicists are scheduled to have another meeting today.
“We approach every negotiation in good faith and with a spirit of optimism, however if there isn’t a satisfactory result today in support of their claim, medical physicists will look toward taking industrial action next week,” Ms Andrews said.