AEU SA media release: Wednesday 4 December 2019

Marshall Government overstates AEU support for revised Offer

The Australian Education Union (SA Branch) is alarmed by the Marshall Government’s gross overstatement regarding Branch Executive’s response to the Enterprise Agreement Offer received yesterday. 

The Treasurer Rob Lucas deliberately sent out a misleading release implying the AEU Branch Executive “unanimously endorsed” the latest Government Enterprise Agreement Offer.

This statement from the Marshall Government is incorrect.

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 strongly condemned the pre-emptive and misleading statements from Treasurer Lucas.

"Government negotiators had given their word that no announcements would be made prior to the revised Offer being distributed to our members. We had only received the official Offer at 1pm yesterday, when within the hour Lucas had distributed his fake news, set up media interviews and fronted a press conference.

"The Marshall Government’s approach with this announcement has been entirely untrustworthy and demonstrates once again the utter disrespect for public education professionals in South Australia,” Ms Golding said.

Upon the receipt of the revised Offer, conciliation proceedings with the SA Employment Tribunal were naturally suspended. Ms Golding scoffed at how the Treasurer’s media release drew positive conclusions from what is a standard practice.

“This is the Marshall Government’s spin cycle on overdrive. I can appreciate they are scrambling to find some positive messages at the moment, however we would rather they stuck to the facts,” Ms Golding said.

Acceptance or rejection of the Offer is now in the hands of AEU members.

“The AEU is a democratically led union, so it is fitting that our members will determine the outcome of this Offer. It’s a big decision and we are encouraging members to be well-informed,” said Ms Golding.  

“If members vote yes, then they are accepting all of the conditions outlined in the current Offer. If members vote no, then they will need to stand strong. Whatever happens, we will be standing by our members’ decision.”

Ballot results will be determined by the end of next week.

There is one person who has yet to make comment or raise their voice as to how this Offer will impact conditions and learning environments of every public school and preschool in South Australia.
“The question the AEU, Branch Executive and members keep asking is where is the Education Minister John Gardner?” said Ms Golding.

“Education is his portfolio and yet he remains missing in action at this critical point. Minister, we have a message for you – try harder, Gardner.”