Latest News

Corrective Services Remembrance Day

Nov 24, 2017

Today, Friday 24 November, we reflect, as we do each year, on the sad loss of colleagues in Corrective Services who have tragically fallen while serving the community.

The day is therefore a reminder that Correctional Officers and supporting staff are employed in one of the most difficult and dangerous workplaces in the community.

Every Correctional Officer should be able to go to work each day and know that they will return to their families and loved ones safely.

Sadly, in this line of work, that’s never a guarantee.

No other workplace requires the riot squad to be on stand-by when a smoking ban is introduced.

No other workplace requires such stringent safety procedures.

Many of the inmates that Correctional Officers and staff supervise have nothing left to lose and all too often officers are required to deal with unpredictable and dangerous situations.

This underscores the importance of proper staff to inmate ratios and the need for improved workers compensation provisions to protect these officers and their families.

The world that exists behind the walls of Correctional facilities might seem intriguing to some members of the community.

The fact is these officers place their lives on the line every day in service to the public.

Stewart Little
PSA General Secretary

Fears Regional Communities will lose Police jobs

Nov 23, 2017

PSA Media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) holds grave fears many regional areas will be stripped of local police staff under a restructure of NSW Police.

“We are extremely concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped to be able to undertake the full range of their duties on behalf of their local communities,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“We call on the National Party in regional NSW to give an undertaking that local police will continue to have the vital administrative support that allows them to fully serve their communities and that no police officer will be forced into an administrative role and taken off front line duties.”

Read the full media release HERE.

PSA welcomes inquiry into Parklea private prison

Nov 23, 2017

PSA Media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed today’s announcement of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the scandal ridden Parklea private prison.

The union has been calling for an inquiry into Parklea for sometime and this week backed a push by Opposition Leader Luke Foley for Parliament to formally investigate the prison’s operations.

The inquiry announcement follows reports of further damning incidents including allegations of improper conduct by senior management towards junior staff.

“An inquiry into the management of Parklea Prison is long overdue,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little, “and we welcome today’s announcement and thank Luke Foley for his support.”

Read the full media release HERE.

Unions battling privatisation of NSW disability service – The Newcastle Herald

Nov 16, 2017

The Newcastle Herald turned the spotlight on this week’s PSA/CPSU NSW forum which gathered a picture of what a safety net for people with a disability should look like.

Read the full article HERE.

Yes! Marriage equality is union business!

Nov 15, 2017

Union meets with families over disability privatisation – NBN News

Nov 14, 2017

Families impacted by the privatisation of disability services are meeting in Newcastle tonight.

A public forum is being hosted by unions, to allow residents in the Hunter to voice concerns.

“So we’re hearing from our members and from the community that there is massive shortfalls in funding and emerging risks and gaps in service provision,” say Kylie McKelvie from the Public Service Association.

The Public Service Association says all disability services in Newcastle will be privatised from December 1.

Disability forum in Newcastle on Tuesday – The Newcastle Herald

Nov 14, 2017

Today’s community forum in Newcastle to develop a positive plan with the community for a public disability safety net has received some early attention from the Newcastle Herald.

“We will work with people with disability, their advocates, families, workers, health professionals, academics and concerned community members and ask them what a public disability safety net should look like,” PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright told the Herald.

Read the full article HERE.

Jail should not be last resort for people with disability

Nov 10, 2017

PSA media release

The incarceration of a 20-year-old Victorian man with autism and an intellectual disability who fell through the cracks of the NDIS serves a reminder there needs to be a government-run safety net for some of the state’s most vulnerable people, says the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA).

“We have warned that without a properly funded, government-run safety net, some people with disability will end up in the prison system or on the streets,” says PSA General Secretary Stewart Little. “There will always be cases private and community providers won’t take on.”

The ABC’s 7:30 program and website reported a 20-year-old man, Francis, ended up in the Victorian prison system as he was unable to be adequately housed or cared for anywhere else.

“We have heard there are already cases in NSW where people with disability have been sent to prison as there are no alternative options,” says Little. “Yet the Government is actually reducing options for people by cutting out government-run support.”

Under the Berejiklian Government’s plans, government-run support for people with disability will not exist by 2018. Instead, private and community providers will supposedly be responsible for all cases in the state.

However, unlike the existing government-run system, private and community providers can refuse to work with clients, meaning some high-needs people with disability will fall through the cracks and end up on the streets or in the state’s prison system.

The PSA is holding a community forum in Newcastle to demand a government-run safety for people with a disability in NSW.

Child protection workers’ union takes aim at Family and Community Services after accreditation failure – Newcastle Herald

Nov 9, 2017

Following a report in the Newcastle Herald that the Hunter New England branch of FACS risked losing its accreditation after failing to meet the standards of the Office of Children’s Guardian, PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright hit back stating the problem is due to poor resourcing in the high demand region. “It’s almost as if it’s been set up to fail,” he said told the Newcastle Herald.

Read the full Newcastle Herald article HERE.

What would a disability safety net look like – Troy Wright, PSA Assistant General Secretary

Nov 8, 2017

Community Consultation Forum – Public Disability Safety Net

Nov 2, 2017

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NSW disability services privatisation a ticking social bomb – report

Oct 23, 2017

PSA media release

A parent’s harrowing story of how her son escaped private disability care four times during his first three days cannot be ignored by the Government says the Public Service Association (PSA).

The shocking impact of privatisation on the sector has been revealed today in a report, Taking Back Control: A Community Response to Privatisation which comes after an independent panel toured the country to speak directly to parents.

“For crucial public disability services in NSW – the clock is ticking,” PSA General Secretary Stewart Little said.

Read the full media release HERE.

Events across the state condemn massive restructure the National Parks and Wildlife Service

Oct 20, 2017

PSA members at events in Katoomba, Queanbeyan, Grafton, Griffith, and Wollongong on 19 October drew community attention to the massive restructure of NPWS that will cut jobs and jeopardise public safety.

Here is just some of the media from the day:

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50th year celebrations for National Parks in ashes by massive restructure

Oct 19, 2017

PSA media release

The NSW Government is marking the 50th anniversary of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) with a massive restructure that will cut jobs and jeopardise public safety, the Public Service Association (PSA) says.

The PSA is holding rallies across the state today against the drastic cuts. Events will be held in Katoomba, Queanbeyan, Grafton, Griffith, and Wollongong.

Read the full media release HERE.

Parklea must be publicly run again: union – 7 News

Oct 17, 2017

Corrections Minister David Elliott on Monday said the existing contract for Parklea – held by GEO Group Australia – will expire in March 2019 and tenders are being accepted for the next seven-year contract.

Public Service Association general secretary Troy Wright says it’s time to return the jail to public hands.

Read the full 7 News article HERE.

Merger causing fear: PSA – The Daily Liberal

Oct 16, 2017

“This has been dragging on for more than eight weeks now and still staff are basically none the wiser”, Acting PSA Assistant General Secretary, Kym Ward said.

Read the full Daily Liberal article HERE.

NPWS plan to slash jobs and relocate office to Coffs Harbour – The Daily Examiner

Oct 16, 2017

Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright, has written to the Clarence Valley Council, seeking its support in the fight against jobs losses in National Parks and Wildlife.

Read the full The Daily Examiner article HERE.

Police deny playing politics with regional reforms – The Mudgee Guardian

Oct 16, 2017

“As a former uniformed officer, I would have thought Troy Grant would be very well aware of the vital role played by civilian support staff in day to day policing in NSW,” Acting PSA Assistant General Secretary Kym Ward said.

Read the full Mudgee Guardian article HERE.

NSW police restructure sparks concern for regional commands – The Wingham Chronicle

Oct 13, 2017

Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright said, “We are concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped to be able to undertake the full range of their duties on behalf of their local communities.

“Workers across the State will be affected including counter staff at Police stations, Forensics officers, Intelligence analysts who track crime patterns and Community Liaison officers. Job cuts in regional areas mean less money going into the local community.”

Read the full The Wingham Chronicle article HERE.

Cops snub ‘lawless’ – The Sunday Telegraph

Oct 9, 2017

Cops snub 'lawless jail' - The Sunday Telegraph 8 October 2017

NPWS budget cuts affecting wild dogs – Tumut and Adelong Times

Oct 9, 2017

NPWS Adelong Times story NPWS restructure crop

NSW Police Force set for big change – 7 News

Oct 6, 2017

Fears over proposed Police restructure – NBN News

Oct 6, 2017

Police command revamp triggers job loss concerns – Bega District News

Oct 6, 2017

“We are extremely concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped to be able to undertake the full range of their duties on behalf of their local communities,” said Acting PSA General Secretary, Mr Wright.

Read the full Bega District News article HERE.

Rumours of major NSW police restructure suggest loss of commanders – The Sydney Morning Herald

Oct 6, 2017

If the jobs of civilian administrative support staff are cut, jobs that allow Police Officers to actually be Police out in the community, how can the Government expect to reach its stated goal of increasing the number of operational Police on the street?

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article HERE.

Red Tape October – December 2017

Oct 4, 2017

Click image to view/download the latest edition of Red Tape

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Mental Health Month

Oct 3, 2017

To mark the beginning of Mental Health Month, PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little talks about the importance of the issue in the workplace and the PSA’s Safer Together strategy.

Grant hits back on police restructure – Western Advocate

Sep 29, 2017

Claims police will be lost in a statewide restructure have been dismissed by Police Minister Troy Grant and the NSW Police Force itself, who say there will be no cut to services.

Read the full Western Advocate article HERE.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller admits LAC model does not suit regional NSW – Cootamunda Herald

Sep 29, 2017

The PSA continues to apply to the pressure to Police Minister, Troy Grant.

Read the full Cootamunda Herald article HERE.

Call to sack private prison operator after inmate with ‘shiv’ stabs warder – The Australian

Sep 29, 2017

Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright has called for the termination of the GEO Group’s contract, the private operators of Parklea prison following yet another scandal.

Click image to enlarge

Call to sack private prison operator after inmate with 'shiv' stabs warder - The Australian 29 September 2017

Grant hits back on police restructure – Central Western Daily

Sep 29, 2017

Police Minister Troy Grant didn’t respond to the PSA’s letter seeking information about a statewide shakeup of NSW Police, but we forced him to respond in local media. But he missed the point.

“We are extremely concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped,” Acting PSA General Secretary Troy Wright said.

Read the full Central Western Daily article HERE.

Prison guard stabbed by inmate at Parklea jail – The Ray Hadley Morning Show

Fears Regional Areas will lose Local Police Commands

Sep 28, 2017

PSA media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) holds grave fears many regional areas will be stripped of their local police area command under a Government restructure of NSW Police.

The PSA wrote to Minister Troy Grant last week demanding detail of the restructure – touted the biggest in 20 years – but the Minister has refused to reply.

Particularly concerning to public safety is word of the proposed amalgamation of 11 regional Local Area Commands into just seven.

“Troy Grant needs to come clean and reveal his plan,” said Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright.

“We are extremely concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are properly equipped to be able to undertake the full range of their duties on behalf of their local communities.

Read the full media release HERE.

PSA Parliamentary submission on discrimination, & bullying in Emergency Services agencies

Sep 25, 2017

The PSA conducted a survey of members in Emergency Services agencies and included the results in its submission to Parliament.

The survey responses indicated a high prevalence of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

The PSA also surveyed members in Corrective Services, Juvenile Justice and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, agencies that perform some functions that are similar to emergency service agencies.

Findings from these agencies also indicated a high prevalence of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

You can read the PSA submission HERE.

Govt ignoring child protection inquiry a disgrace

Sep 20, 2017

PSA media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) has slammed the NSW Government for supporting only 12 of the 28 recommendations made by a Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Protection.

A key recommendation to extend the Auditor General’s powers to ensure accountability of all non-Government child protection organisations that receive state funding was among those ignored.

The union launched its “Safe hands” campaign during Child Protection Week to highlight the crisis which, among other horrors, sees up to 200 children housed by the Government in hotels and motels across the state each night due to a critical shortage of appropriate alternatives.

“The PSA has been sounding the alarm about a crisis in child protection and now the Government is ignoring the recommendations of a Parliamentary Inquiry which begs the question, who will this Government listen to on this critical social issue?” said Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright.

Read the full media release HERE.

Govt spends tens of millions on consultants, tries to block pay rise for disability workers

Sep 19, 2017

PSA media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) has slammed the $10 million rise in the budget for consultants in one public sector agency alone while the Government cuts jobs and argues against a 2.5% pay rise for disability care workers.

“The Treasurer can defend the expenditure on the basis the Government is undertaking “unprecedented and complicated reforms” but what he doesn’t say is that process involves the wholesale sell off of public services in NSW such as the Land Titles Registry, disability and Out of Home Care,” said Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright.

“The savage irony is that many of these Departments are spending money on consultants to manage the after-effects of employees being replaced with consultants”.

Read the full media release HERE.

$50 million announcement no relief for schools staff

Sep 12, 2017

PSA media release

The announcement by NSW Minister for Education, Rob Stokes about reducing the administrative burden on Principals, demonstrates his lack of understanding of how our public schools really function said the Public Service Association (PSA).

The union was responding to the Minister’s announcement that $50 million in flexible funding is to be provided to Principals to employ business managers.

“The fact is School Administrative and Support staff (SASS) rather than Principals shoulder the responsibility for the daily functioning of our public schools,” said PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright.

To read the full media release click HERE.

At-risk kids in motel rooms – Illawarra Mercury

Sep 5, 2017

Yesterday’s launch of the PSA’s Safe Hands campaign at Coniston was covered by the Illawarra Mercury.

Read the full article Illawarra Mercury HERE.

Kids in the same motels as crims – Sunday Telegraph

Sep 4, 2017

“Children are being removed from situations of risk every week across NSW and placed in completely unsuitable, insecure and potentially dangerous accommodation,” PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright told the Sunday Telegraph as the PSA launches the Safe Hands campaign.

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Big win for ADHC members in group homes and residential facilities

Aug 30, 2017

For more than eight months the PSA has been fighting to make sure all conditions of employment of  ADHC members are transferred with them when they leave the public sector.

After a decision by the Industrial Relations Commission today, we are happy to inform all ADHC staff covered by the Crown Employees (FACS) Residential Centre Support Services Staff Award and Crown Employees Ageing, Disability and Homecare NSW Department of FACS (Community Living) Award that the PSA has won the following conditions:

  • Salary Increase from 1 July 2017 and each year thereafter
  • Rostering principles
  • Special paid leave.

Congratulations to all ADHC Staff and a big thank you to our ADHC delegates who made statements as part of our case.

The first tranche of staff from Western NSW; Far West NSW and the Mid North Coast leave the public sector next week.

They will be sad to leave, but we hope will gain comfort from knowing their union has won to ensure they transfer with these conditions.

We will continue to be your union and to fight for your rights and entitlements.

Concerns over the privatisation of disability services – ABC TV

Aug 29, 2017

PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright underscores the PSA’s main concern with the privatisation of disability services: many will land heavily in the state’s hospitals, mental health facilities and even prisons, areas lacking expertise in specialist disability care.

Inmates send jails to blazes – The Daily Telegraph

Aug 22, 2017

Prison Officers Vocational Branch Chair, Nicole Jess discusses the latest heated issue Correctional Officers are required to deal with in their workplace.

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Department cuts will see wild dog packs run rampant – The Coffs Coast Advocate

Aug 1, 2017

On World Ranger Day, the PSA unleashed the hounds about a restructure of National Park operations by the Office of Environment and Heritage that will see a further 15 area managers cut and large areas of the state exposed to wild dogs and bushfires.

“The Government’s assault on this workforce is nothing less than a direct attack on public safety,” PSA General Secretary Stewart Little said.

Read the full Coffs Coast Advocate article HERE.

Privatising Disability Services: Where to from here? Sunday 30 July 2017

Jul 31, 2017

One of the speakers at the NSW Labor State Conference PSA fringe event to discuss the Liberal Government’s privatisation of disability services was University of Sydney Associate Professor Damien Cahill.

You can read his speaking points HERE.

NDIS: Mother of daughter with severe disability fears privatisation of NSW group homes – ABC

Jul 28, 2017

The ABC’s Background Briefing has today profiled the torturous road to come for many with the privatisation of disability services in NSW.

The coverage marks the final day vital Community Support Teams (CSTs) will be part of Ageing Disability and Home Care.

From Monday, 31 July, CSTs transfer to the Benevolent Society and the State Government will no longer be responsible for this service.

Read the full ABC News article HERE.

Juvenile jail staff put ‘in harm’s way’ – The Daily Advertiser

Jul 24, 2017

Juvenile Justice staff are “appallingly” ill-equipped to deal with their violent young charges says a former Centre boss.

Read the full The Daily Advertiser article HERE.

PSA petition to stop 40 Office of State Revenue jobs moving from Maitland to Gosford – Maitland Mercury

Jul 24, 2017

The PSA’s fight to stop 40 Office of State Revenue jobs moving from Maitland to Gosford has been taken up by the Maitland Mercury.

Red the full The Maitland Mercury article HERE.

National Park cuts let loose wild dogs and bushfires

Jul 19, 2017

PSA Media release

Large areas of the state will be left exposed to bushfires and uncontrolled wild dogs in the wake of a restructure of National Park operations by the Office of Environment & Heritage, the Public Service Association (PSA) says.

The restructure in the lead up to the bushfire season, when experienced planning should be in full swing, will also impact on the safety of the 30 million people who each year flock to the state’s National Parks.

“At a time when the wild dog population is peaking in the bush, Area Manager positions are being cut leaving farmers alone to deal with the issue and the potential for further significant stock losses,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

Read the full media release HERE.

Wagga ‘juvy’ staff assaulted 27 times in 17 months – The Daily Advertiser

Jul 19, 2017

“The assault rate on our members has absolutely gone through the roof.”

The PSA’s Stewart Little and Julie Bond talk to the Wagga Daily Advertiser about the violence our members in Juvenile Justice face at work.

Read the full The Daily Advertiser article HERE.

Prisons Minister on 2GB – public sector have done a great job cleaning up Parklea

Jul 18, 2017

Ray Hadley on 2GB hammers Corrections Minister David Elliott over Parklea private prison following an inmate filming himself with drugs and weapons.

The Minister proudly talks up the great job the public sector has done in the wake of the video in tightening operations at the jail.

Priceless.

Listen to the full podcast below.

ICAC weakening due to budget cuts and job losses, union and NSW Labor warn – The Guardian

Jul 17, 2017

“Cuts to the ICAC are nothing more than the NSW government attempting to issue a get-out-of-jail-free card for itself and all its business mates,” PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little told The Guardian.

“The last thing this state needs is even less scrutiny of process involving the sale of critical [public] services but that is exactly what the state government wants.”

Read the full article The Guardian article HERE.

GEO jail scandal: Junee under scrutiny – The Daily Advertiser

Jul 12, 2017

After the Government was forced to intervene in the wake of an inmate at Parklea prison filming himself with a knife and drugs, the spotlight has turned to Junee jail which is also privately run by GEO.

“The only way we find out about these issues is by inmates filming themselves – what sort of system is that?” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

Read the full Daily Advertiser article HERE.

Park ‘veil of secrecy’ – Bega District News

Jul 11, 2017

Despite tourism increasing on the Far South Coast, National Parks and Wildlife are still making cutbacks.

Click image to enlarge.

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PSA General Secretary Stewart Little discusses prison privatisation – The Project

Jul 11, 2017

Prison privatisation has again been exposed as a disaster. PSA General Secretary Stewart Little explained why to the hosts of Channel 10’s The Project last night.

PSA fights for Central Coast domestic violence counselling service – NBN News

Jul 11, 2017

The PSA’s push to retain a vital domestic violence counselling service on the Central Coast in public hands made headlines on NBN TV.

Protect our penalty rates

PSA General Secretary Stewart Little talks about why we must remain vigilant about protecting our penalty rates.

Recently the Fair Work Commission cut rates for hospitality and retail workers: and State Government minister have refused to rule out doing the same for NSW public servants.

And remember to sign our online petition to protect our penalty rates.

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