AEU SA media release: Thursday 12 December 2019

Close ballot results in an acceptance of Enterprise Bargaining Offer

A Yes vote by AEU members marginally scraped over the line leading to an acceptance of the latest Offer from the Marshall Government.

In a surprise move, the Marshall Government recently left the conciliation process at SAET and returned to the negotiation table with the Australian Education Union, resulting in the receipt of their “final negotiated Offer.”

Branch Executive determined that the Offer would be put to members without recommendations.

The acceptance of the Offer follows more than 18 months of extensive negotiation and industrial action.

Australian Education Union President Elect Lara Golding indicated that the ballot result is still a wake up call to the Marshall Government.

“We know that enterprise bargaining is an imperfect process with a distinct power imbalance. Legislation in Australia has limited the way unions can work to positively influence the outcome of negotiations when they stall,” said Ms Golding.

“Regardless, our members have stood strong for more than 18 months and have committed to taking industrial action to bring the Marshall Government back to the negotiation table.

“We all need to remember that this is just one cycle of the enterprise bargaining process. We will learn from this experience and that will inform the next cycle. Every improvement in the Offer since June was hard won from a Government who appears disinterested in supporting public education.”

Ms Golding was adamant that it doesn’t end here.

“We are putting the Marshall Government on notice, particularly around issues that have not been adequately addressed.

“Our members know what changes are needed in public education in South Australia. We recommend that the Marshall Government listens to the voice of the profession,” said Ms Golding.

“We want the best learning environment for all South Australian children and young people in public schools and preschools.”