We know that you have been hearing about the Pay Equity Case for years.
Now you finally get to vote on an outstanding package that, if accepted, will become a landmark case for equal pay in NSW.
Without the PSA, the issue of your pay would not even be on the agenda of the Department of Education or the NSW Government.
If members vote to accept these unprecedented pay increases this will be a massive WIN not only for SAS Staff but for the PSA and for women in NSW.
Before you vote, you must read the information below in full so that you know what you are voting on.
Your Departmental Committee Executive Delegates unanimously voted to accept the package as outlined and to recommend it to all PSA schools members.
The PSA, the Schools DC Executive and our Legal Team all urge you to vote to ACCEPT this package.
Background – PSA Fighting for Equal Pay
The PSA started building this case in late 2016
Our argument was based on the principle that much of the work of SAS Staff was completely undervalued and that this was because of both the gendered nature of the work and the gendered nature of how it was described in Statements of Duties.
Gendered work arises from perceptions and assumptions about what is ‘men’s work’ and ‘women’s work’ resulting in the under-recognition of the nature, level and value of the skills required to perform what has traditionally been seen as ‘women’s work’.
We gathered the history of the development of the SAS Staff Award by gathering affidavits from many SAS Staff, Principals, former and current PSA Officials and experts in a variety of fields.
In March of 2017 the PSA formally lodged its application in the IRC.
The Pay Increases – 19% to 35.8%
The package is a cumulative pay rise across all classifications of 19% over three (3) years. This includes an increase of 13.8% in the current financial year, back paid to 1 July, with the remainder of the increase to be paid in 2020 and 2021.
SLSO Pre-School staff who have been the lowest paid of all SAS Staff for many years will finally have their salaries brought in line with other SLSOs and then receive the same increases as all other SAS Staff. This will result in SLSO Pre-School staff receiving a pay rise of up to 35.8% over the three (3) years. This is a massive WIN for this group of SLSOs.
See page 3 to show the increases for all classifications in dollar terms.
Allowances increased by 19%
We have also ensured that the allowances for first aid, administration of medications and health care procedures (health support) will be increased by the percentages above and will then continue to be increased in the future by the pay rise percentage negotiated for salary increases each year.
Business Managers (BM) and SLSO (SHS) classifications will be brought into the SAS Staff Award.
Business Managers and School Administrative Managers
Business Managers will have two classifications BM1 and BM2 which align with the current BM 5/6 and BM 7/8 respectively. Over the life of the award (3 years) Business Managers will, at the time their current temporary arrangement concludes, have the choice whether to take up the BM1 or BM2 positions should these positions still be required by the school. It will be at the discretion of the Principal whether they want to make the BMs into a permanent position in their school.
Business Managers will continue to work a 35 hour week but will be employed under the same arrangements as other SAS Staff in relation to school vacation periods. BMs will work the same number of weeks that other SAS Staff work and their pay for those weeks will be spread into 26 equal pays across the year. BMs will earn slightly less each week but will gain extra leave.
In addition, should a SAM retire or resign the Principal could decide to appoint a BM and not have a SAM at the school. The school will be free to have a SAM and a BM or the Principal could decide to have either one. This does NOT mean a SAM can be sacked or forced to resign. Should a school have a BM and no SAM the BM may be asked to undertake supervision of SAOs.
While conversion to permanent employment is not included in this package, the PSA remains committed to a systematic pathway to permanency for all staff in schools. It is unacceptable that staff who work for government are kept in temporary employment for extensive periods of time. We will continue to pursue this goal on behalf of members.
School Learning Support Officers and Student Health Support
A new SLSO (Student Health Support) classification will be introduced. SLSOs who are currently performing health care procedures (to be known as ‘health support’) will continue to perform these duties. They will continue to receive the allowance for these duties until they have transitioned into the new classification. Once they transition into the new classification, the allowance will be incorporated into their higher base hourly rate of pay.
All other SLSOs will be required only to perform first aid and the administration of medication. This will be subject to appropriate training and the receipt of allowances.
All other SLSOs will not be required to perform invasive health care procedures such as catheterisation. They may be required to administer medications by injection; but only in cases of emergency or in accordance with a student’s health care plan.
The PSA opposed making the administration of injections part of the routine tasks to be performed by SLSOs generally.
First Aid, Administration of Medications
The other conditions which affect all classifications (except BMs) relate to first aid and administration of medications. Staff in all classifications will be able to be directed by the Principal to undertake these duties. This will be subject to appropriate training and the receipt of allowances.
The staff member who is being directed will need to undertake the appropriate training prior to taking on the work and will receive the allowance/s which have been increased by the 19% over the next three years.
Modernised Statements of Duties
The package includes modernised Statements of Duties. Delegates from each classification have contributed to their content and the core duties in the Statement of Duties remain substantively similar to what you are doing now. The PSA will work with members and school Principals should any confusion arise.
You should read your updated Statement of Duties prior to voting.
READ THE PROPOSED NEW STATEMENTS OF DUTIES LINDKED BELOW
The immediate increases effective from 1 July 2019 in dollar terms are, for example:
SAM Level 4: $5.19 x 33 hour 20 minutes = $172.98 per week ($9,025.85 per year).
SAM Level 3: $5.03 x 33 hours 20 minutes = $167.65 per week ($8,747.73 per year).
AEO Year 4: $4.90 x 31 hours 15 minutes = $153.13 per week ($7,990.10 per year).
SAO: $4.12 x 31 hours 15 minutes = $128.75 per week ($6,717.99 per year).
SLSO Year 4: $4.38 x 31 hours 15 minutes = $136.88 per week ($7,142.20 per year).
SLSO (Pre School) Year 4: $8.32 x 31 hours 15 minutes = $260 per week ($13,566.43 per year).
Risks of Voting No
The pay increases that are a central part of this package are an outstanding result for SAS Staff. The package must be seen in the context of the current environment where wage increases for public servants in NSW is limited to 2.5% per annum.
The increases are also broadly uniform across all SAS Staff classifications. This is a particularly valuable feature of this package. There is of course no guarantee that any outcome imposed by the Commission would include uniform increases across all SAS Staff classifications, or that it would match the amount of the increases that are a part of this package.
The PSA and Your Delegates Recommend You Vote Yes
When the PSA, its legal team and the Executive of the Schools DC looked at the package we had negotiated, we believed that on balance this was a very good result.
Increases over 3 years of from 19% to 35.8% is an unprecedented outcome that we are happy to recommended to members to accept.
The PSA is due to attend a hearing on 13 September where we are required to report back on the outcome of the vote so that the new Award can be finalised by the Commission.
These pay rises will affect over 17,500 SAS Staff in NSW and SLSO Pre-School Staff in over 100 government pre-schools.
When you vote, you will be asked if you have read the above information in full so that you know what you are voting on.
A Q & A document will be published later this week.
Voting will close at 5pm on Wednesday 11 September
CLICK HERE TO VOTE ON YOUR PAY RISE