TasTAFE Board Breaks Pay Promise

TasTAFE appear to have made a determination to break their promise of “no disadvantage” to workers following its move out of the State Service.

The CPSU has repeatedly sought confirmation that TasTAFE will honour its promise to match pay rises secured by State Service employees in Public Sector Unions Wages Agreement negotiations. With State Service employees now beginning to receive their pay rises, TasTAFE workers have been left increasingly anxious by the radio silence from their employer.

In December last year TasTAFE wrote to the CPSU confirming the TasTAFE Board’s commitment, “to honour pay increases for education facilities attendants and general staff in December 2022 in line with what is paid under the agreed Tasmanian State Service wages agreements.”

How quickly things change. On Saturday, TasTAFE CEO Grant Dreher disclosed to The Mercury that the TasTAFE Board voted last week to approve pay increases that fail to meet this promise:

“The Board approved the recommendation that TasTAFE’s non-teaching staff receive a 3.5 per cent pay increase, backdated to December 1, 2022, and one-off cost of living payments,” he said. (“TasTAFE pay rise stoush” 21 January 2023)

(The Mercury, Saturday, 21 January 2023)

Workers in Tasmania’s State Service are receiving wage increases between 4.3% and 6.8%, in addition to one-off lower income payments.

It is disgraceful that workers had to find out about the status of their pay and through the newspaper before being informed by their employer. This represents an absolute breach of the Rockliff Government and TasTAFE’s repeated commitments to workers, legislators and the Tasmanian Community.

In its efforts to secure passage of the bill to corporatise TasTAFE, the Premier repeatedly promised, “no disadvantage for employees.” This promise was made both to workers and to Legislative Councillors, who ultimately agreed to pass the contentious legislation on this proviso. More specifically, a commitment was made that salary and conditions would be maintained until a new TasTAFE Agreement was negotiated. This has yet to occur.

Last week CPSU Assistant Secretary Tom Lynch wrote to Legislative Council members on behalf of CPSU member in TasTAFE, highlighting the broken promises on display:

“Despite all the assurances made by the Government to the Legislative Council to gain support for its legislation to corporatise TasTAFE, its staff are being disadvantaged as a result of being transferred to the Fair Work jurisdiction.”

“We write to you because the Rockliff Government seems to have an appetite for transferring workers out of the State Service – TasTAFE, Stadiums Tasmania, Office of Racing Integrity; and we want you to remember the next time they come to you seeking your support for further corporatisation that their commitments only last for as long as they need your support. “

“So far we’ve seen no improved outcomes for Tasmanians from the corporatisation of TasTAFE but its employees have paid a personal price.  That’s not what was promised.”

CPSU Assistant Secretary Tom Lynch:

“We will not be satisfied until these staff get the same as other state servants who have this week been getting pay rises of between 4.3 and 6.8 per cent and one-off lower income payments.”

The CPSU will seek urgent clarification that the Rockliff Government will honour its own commitments to workers, legislators and the Tasmanian community.

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