IRC tells members to lift WBS IO ban, PSA still fighting for SAS Staff - Public Service Association

IRC tells members to lift WBS IO ban, PSA still fighting for SAS Staff

IRC tells members to lift WBS IO ban, PSA still fighting for SAS Staff – May 2019 (PDF version)

Last week, across the state thousands of PSA SAS Staff members took industrial action to demonstrate their ongoing dissatisfaction with the WBS IO solution.

The PSA also called on the Department to deal with the work health and safety impacts on our members.

The result of your action was the Department of Education immediately lodging a dispute and seeking orders from the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) for PSA members to lift the bans on the WBS IO. Proof that this ban got their attention.

The conciliation of the dispute provided the opportunity for the PSA to provide detailed information on the impact of this solution to the ‘umpire’ and as a result the PSA gained a number of concessions from the Department, including an immediate injection of $1.67 million dollars to prop up SAS staff overtime and additional staffing.

PSA fights on for members

While the PSA was instructed in conciliation by the IRC that it must lift the bans, we are not walking away from the issues and concerns members still have. We will continue to fight to ensure that every improvement that can be made to the WBS IO is genuinely considered by the Department in the continuing negotiations that have been agreed to.

We will continue to raise the impacts of the unreasonable workloads you are all suffering under, and work hard to ensure adequate support is provided to SAS Staff members. This is only possible because your ban brought DoE back to the table for constructive discussions with the PSA.

This is just the beginning. The PSA will not give up on this all important fight to protect its members. We will keep the pressure up so the Department continues to identify ways that they can lift the pressure on all of you!

From everyone here at your union, we thank you for taking action last week. It made it possible for your delegates and PSA industrial staff to be able to drag the attention of the Department back to the negative effects on staff of the WBS IO and to provide a more constructive way forward.

There are still a number of other industrial options available to the PSA if things do not improve and we will be ready to vigorously take them up on behalf of members!

Important information for all members – here are the facts

  1. You cannot be forced to do unreasonable overtime or work additional hours. All members can choose whether they take up the offer of overtime or additional hours.
  2. You can only do what you have time to do. Do not put yourself at risk by trying to finish work in unreasonable timeframes.
  3. Overwork and work intensification can be a work health and safety issue. The PSA encourages ALL members that experience pressure resulting in anxiety due to unreasonable timeframes and overwork to log it immediately with DoE. Call 1800 811 523 to log an incident with the Incident and Support Hotline and keep a record of the incident number.
  4. Keep sending your issues and concerns to the PSA, you can do this by sending an email to with “WBS IO Incident” in the subject line.
  5. All members are encouraged to take up the opportunity to access further resources and support in whatever way they can. This includes additional one-on-one support being offered by the Department. Further information about this will be distributed shortly.

A short history of the PSA and the WBS IO

The PSA, with the support of delegates and members, has been fighting since 2018 for the Department to recognise and respond to the limitations of the WBS IO solution.

Your union’s position from the beginning has been that the Department should revisit how the WBS IO solution was set up, and if it was not able to be redesigned, to provide the necessary resources for its support and accord it priority over other tasks.

Whilst the Department is not agreeing to abandon the solution, the Department has agreed to use members’ feedback and consultation with the PSA to identify ongoing improvements, refine the process where possible and remove ‘pain points’, as well as provide additional resources and support.

As you know the Department was ready to roll out the WBS IO solution together with the phases of the payroll system in 2018. As a result of the union’s intervention this was ceased, and the roll out of Phase 4 rescheduled, and more comprehensive training provided in 2019.

Prior to the ban, the Department’s final response of 8 May to member concerns was that nothing was going to change, and no further resources were to be provided for implementation of the WBS IO solution.

The PSA surveyed members at the conclusion of the training and as a result of the feedback, and the Department’s response, your Executive School Delegates resolved to ban the use of the system. As a result, the Department is now back at the table with the PSA so that we can continue constructive discussions and keep working on ways to resolve the remaining concerns.

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