AEU SA hits back – SA Government overstated support for revised preschool pay
A spokesperson for the Australian Education Union (SA Branch) (AEU) is “alarmed” by the “gross overstatement” made by the South Australian Government yesterday, in relation to an ongoing pay dispute which has resulted in industrial action across the state on several occasions.
Speaking about comments made yesterday by SA Treasurer Rob Lucas, which indicated that the AEU Branch Executive “unanimously endorsed” the latest Government Enterprise Agreement Offer, the AEU were quick to correct the Treasurer’s comments, noting that the revised Offer was neither endorsed nor rejected.
What Branch Executive unanimously endorsed was a ballot of members to consider the Offer without recommendation, AEU President Elect Lara Golding said, strongly condemning the ‘pre-emptive and misleading’ statements from Treasurer Lucas.
Ms Golding said that while Government negotiators “had given their word” that no announcements would be made prior to the revised Offer being distributed to AEU SA members, within the hour Mr Lucas had distributed his release, set up media interviews and fronted a press conference.
The approach taken by the SA Government, Ms Golding noted, has been untrustworthy. As a result of the measures taken, in terms of the AEU agreeing to take the offer to a ballot of members, conciliation proceedings with the SA Employment Tribunal were “naturally suspended”.
To call such a standard measure a victory was to draw positive conclusions from what is a standard practice, something which was remiss of the Treasurer to do, she said.
Acceptance or rejection of the Government’s offer is now in the hands of AEU members. “It’s a big decision and we are encouraging members to be well-informed,” said Ms Golding.