The PSA has been contacted by members who work as ‘Schools as Community Centre Facilitators’.
Previously your union tried to have the Facilitators converted from temporary to permanent positions. The Industrial Relations Commission made a recommendation in 2010 that it did not have the jurisdiction to convert temporary to permanent positions and was a matter for the Director, Industrial Relations, Department of Premier and Cabinet. The PSA sought legal advice on other options to pursue under the Industrial Relations Act but found no prospects of success for any option. The PSA will give full consideration to this issue again under the GSE Act and will advise members their legal position when that is known.
A more urgent issue is Facilitators who applied for a two-year fixed term contract in December 2016. In January 2017 many received a letter of offer of a five-month contract ending on 30 June 2017. Facilitators who have performed the role for more than eight years have received five-month contracts and those with fewer than eight years received two-year contracts.
The Department of Education has stated, “roles were advertised for two years but due to compliance with the GSE Act applicants received interim offer letters or verbally advised varying end dates and will allow the HR team to fully explore all applicable scenarios.” It appears the department is applying Rules 10 (1) and (1A) of the GSE Rules which prescribe the maximum temporary period of non-executive employees as eight years.
The PSA considers that interpretation to be incorrect, as the GSE Rules commenced on 24 February 2014 and rule 10 (1A) giving an additional four years was inserted on 23 September 2014. We cannot see how a Facilitator’s period of service before the GSE Rules commenced can be considered under the Rules. We are researching a range of legal arguments to determine their prospects of success. We will discuss these with our Facilitator members.
To ascertain how members want to progress this issue and to help them understand our various legal arguments and their application we are having a teleconference on Friday 3 February 2017 from 1pm-2pm. At that teleconference we will also be seeking nominations for a Facilitator to be a delegate on the Department of Education Corporate and Field Staff Delegates Council. This will provide you an opportunity to progress your issues at the Department of Education Corporate and Field Staff Joint Consultative Committee.
If you want to participate in the teleconference on Friday 3 February 2017 from 1pm-2pm please email Chris Bird, Organiser at or Andrew Boulton, Industrial Officer at and we will email you the teleconference dial in details.