Enterprise Bargaining process derailed by Marshall Government

AEU SA Branch media release – Thursday 5 September 2019

Yesterday the Marshall Government abruptly suspended Enterprise Bargaining negotiations with the Australian Education Union by filing an application for conciliation with the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET).

Operating in an Acting role within the Education portfolio, the Treasurer resorted to strong arm tactics in the absence of Education Minister John Gardner.

AEU SA President Howard Spreadbury expressed his disappointment with the sudden cessation of negotiations at the whim of the Treasurer.

“We have committed to continued weekly negotiations, working closely in good faith with the government negotiators. We have been working hard with the government negotiators and doing all we could so that an improved Offer could be provided to members as soon as possible,” said Mr Spreadbury.

The direction the Marshall Government has taken is surprising as the AEU had most recently met with government negotiators last week, and the next planned meeting had been scheduled for today.

Following the Treasurer’s announcement the planned meeting was cancelled.

The Marshall Government has already secured a directions hearing with SAET today at 11.15am after only placing its application yesterday.

Mr Spreadbury emphasised the democratic decision making processes followed by the AEU whenever taking industrial action.

“Any actions we have taken have been voted upon by our members. The professional voice of our members needs to be heard in this Enterprise Bargaining process,” Mr Spreadbury said.

A member ballot was completed yesterday resulting in overwhelming support from schools and preschools to participate in rolling one hour stoppages during the last three weeks of Term 3.

“After all, our working conditions have a direct impact on the learning environment and learning outcomes for our students.”