CPSU NSW – Ausgrid bargaining member update and feedback requested

Oct 20, 2017

CPSU NSW – Ausgrid bargaining member update and feedback requested – October 2017 (PDF version)

You would have now received a number of joint bulletins from the unions at the bargaining table at Ausgrid. This bulletin focuses on informing you of what the Community and Public Service Union (‘CPSU NSW’) has been fighting for at the bargaining table. The union also requests your feedback on some documents and most importantly on whether you support taking protected industrial action to get a better agreement.

CPSU NSW specific bargaining claims – what has your union been doing at the bargaining table?

In addition to the other issues reported in previous bulletins (see http://psa.asn.au/category/ausgrid/), the CPSU NSW has two key bargaining claims: gender equality and delegate rights. The CPSU NSW has made the following bargaining claims in writing and at the bargaining table:

CPSU bargaining claim Ausgrid reply
20 weeks paid parental leave on full pay or 40 weeks at half pay Ausgrid has increased the entitlement to 16 weeks (up by 2 weeks). The current agreement provides for 14 weeks. The CPSU NSW have held to our claim

Ausgrid to pay superannuation during parental leave period


Ausgrid to consider this issue

Paid lactation break entitlements for return to work mothers


There is a clause on this in the agreement but it is a watered down version of what the CPSU NSW submitted. Guidelines have been developed (see below)

A cessation of pregnancy clause – the application of paid parental leave to situations involving stillbirth


Ausgrid has not dealt with this. The CPSU NSW views this as a core bargaining claim

An EBA clause on anti-discrimination and gender equality


Ausgrid have refused to include an anti-discrimination/gender equality clause in the agreement

Stronger rights for delegate leave to participate in union activity


Ausgrid will not agree to a “minimum” number of days of delegate leave. Ausgrid has agreed to recognise part-time employees in the delegate charter, drafting to be considered

How the CPSU has been fighting for our claims

The CPSU NSW has engaged in a “war of correspondence” with Ausgrid throughout July 2017 regarding the above claims. We requested as part of our bargaining claims that Ausgrid form sub-committees on our bargaining issues because this is the manner in which bargaining has been progressing regarding other issues. Ausgrid initially refused to form sub-committees on our claims. The CPSU NSW threatened to take Ausgrid to the Fair Work Commission for breaching good faith bargaining laws. The ETU and other unions supported the CPSU NSW by providing additional pressure on Ausgrid. As a result of this industrial pressure, Ausgrid reconsidered their position and in early August 2017 contacted the CPSU NSW advising that the subcommittee will be formed. The sub-committee has included representation and active participation from all the unions with higher rates of female participation on our request.

There has also been a delegate rights sub-committee meeting where delegate leave was considered.

There have been two meetings of the Gender Sub-committee with another one due on the 1 November 2017. The subcommittee has discussed the disadvantages that women experience in the workplace around loss of super from parental leave (women have about half the super that men have at retirement age), the difficulty of balancing work and family life, difficulties workers face in accessing childcare, the lack of facilities for breastfeeding mothers in depots and for field staff, and workers having clear rights and an empathetic approach by management to situations involving the cessation of pregnancy. The issue of domestic violence leave was also discussed. Ausgrid needs to improve how they implement the domestic violence entitlement in their workplace as workers find they have to jump through too many hoops to access the entitlement.

Documents for your review – Domestic Violence Leave and lactation breaks

As a result of the Gender Equality Sub-committee, the following documents have been developed by Ausgrid which are now the subject of bargaining and union consultation:

  • Domestic Violence Guidelines
  • Lactation Breaks Guidelines

The CPSU NSW is seeking member feedback on these documents. Please send your feedback by COB 30 October 2017 to your Industrial Officer, Vera Babicheva on vbabicheva@psa.asn.au.

You can remain anonymous in your feedback if you wish. Ausgird will also put these documents on the Wire, noting that they are the subject of consultation with the unions. Feedback will be shared and discussed at the next Gender Equality Sub-Committee meeting on 1 November 2017.

What next? Please complete our short survey regarding industrial action…

To fight against Ausgrid’s unfavourable agreement, the unions plan to file a joint Protected Industrial Action Order (PABO) in the Fair Work Commission. The delegates meeting last week considered several types of industrial action. The CPSU NSW is seeking feedback from members about whether you are likely to vote yes or no in the ballot. The reasons the unions consider protected industrial action as necessary has been summed up in the joint bulletins. In summary these include: a 4 year wages freeze, inferior consultation and dispute resolution clauses that are the bare minimum level in their proposed agreement, mass forced redundancies post 2020 and contracting out concerns.

Please click HERE to vote.

More information regarding correspondence exchanged

If you wish to read the correspondence exchanged between Ausgrid and the CPSU NSW please contact your Industrial Officer and this information will be shared with you.

POVB member bulletin

Oct 20, 2017

POVB member bulletin – October 2017 (PDF version)


Last week Natalie and Darren went to Glen Innes and Grafton for their initial benchmarking meetings.

The following was the proposal for the centres:

Glen Innes

Loss – 1 Governor

Loss – 2 Assistant Superintendents

Gain – 6 SCOs

Loss – 1 CO

No change to Overseer positions


Gain – 1 Governor

Loss – 1 MOS

Gain – 3 SAS

Loss – 4 AS

Loss – 3 SCOs

Gain – 6 COs

No changes to Overseer positions

This week Darren, Jason and myself attended Long Bay MSPCs 1 -4 first benchmarking meeting. To say that it has a dramatic effect on the staffing of these locations is an understatement. The staffing changes are as follows:

MSPC 1-4

Loss – 2 MOS

Loss – 2 SAS

Loss – 11 AS

Loss – 36 SCOs

Gain -14 COs

Loss – 2 OS

CSNSW stated in the presentation that due to the fact that vacancies have not been filled over time then for the SCOs it will affect 13 SCOs. We will work with the SCOs of this location to get the best possible outcomes for them and we will work closely to look at all posts being deleted to assess through risk assessment if they should remain.

Future dates for benchmarking centres are as follows:

SPC – 25.10.17

Long Bay Hospital – 26.10.17

Dawn De Loas – 31.10.17

OMMPC – 01.11.17

Issues discussed at CSNSW benchmarking meeting (Monday 16.10.17):

  • Lack of Post Duties for Principals at MNC
  • Staffing MNC
  • Acting Up MNC and around the state
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Nepotism
  • Lack of jobs for SCOs effected by benchmarking in the metropolitan region
  • Vacancies around the state – CSNSW is yet to supply POVB with accurate figures
  • SWWCC not being signed off 4 months after the completion of phase 1, causing confusion and anxiety to staff individually and as a whole
  • Extension COPPS review – One week for POVB to review CSNSW policy is unreasonable.

Cyclic rostering

Darren and Andrew Brown attended a meeting with CSNSW on Wednesday to discuss the business rules of cyclic rostering. They raised changes to the rules and they should be hopefully completed within a week. Once that has happened, POVB have stated that we want to put it out to the membership and each centre discuss the rules and bring back any issues to the Chairperson of the centre for the Delegates to Management meeting.

Conversion Overseers to Custodial

In the bulletin specifically for Overseers, I informed everyone that CSNSW have pulled the old policy and that there was no information put out to staff with the current changes.

CSNSW wrote back to PSA/POVB however and they did not put in sufficient information and we have requested that it be amended. Once that happens I will put out the communication.

John Morony

There is another meeting Tuesday 24.10.17 to discuss the roster for this centre and I am hoping to have a POVB union meeting to organise the sub branch out there on the same day.

It is getting closer to the opening of the centre under the new KDWJ award. PSA/POVB will work closely with the membership of this centre and the delegates through the transitional period.

Custodial Operations Policy and Procedures – Operational Procedures Manual

As many of you would be aware CSNSW is changing the OPM, stating they are simplifying it and making it user friendly. I am currently going through the new manual and comparing it to the old manual. I am looking at the delegation of roles and responsibilities and will list the issues and put them back to CSNSW. PSA asked for an extension as stated above and we now have until 10.11.17. Any issues found I will forward to the delegates present at the Delegates to Management Meeting on 14 and 15 November, 2017.

Nicole Jess
POVB Chairperson

Contact details:

Nicole Jess – Chairperson
0427 609 199

Jason Charlton – Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976

Thor Sutherland – Country Chairperson
0447 633 476

Natalie Howes – Secretary
0407 011 441

Darren King – Assistant Secretary
0407 935 039

ChildStory go live must be delayed

Oct 20, 2017

ChildStory go live must be delayed – October 2017 (PDF version)

Members were excited about the introduction of a new system that would “represent a once in a generation opportunity to create an information technology system that places the child at the centre of their story”.

This was the Department’s commitment.

The momentum is building to go live with ChildStory on 13 November following a 2 week delay to “fix” problems. The PSA is hearing from our very experienced members who have attended User Acceptance testing, Coaches and the Caseworker training, that ChildStory is nowhere near ready to go live.

It is imperative that ChildStory allows you to do your job more easily. As it is, the opposite will be the case.  ChildStory needs to be put back to next year in order to get it right.

The PSA will be meeting with the Minister on 7 November (read our letter HERE) to discuss the many issues that need to be resolved before ChildStory can be successfully implemented.

Not fit for purpose

It is extremely disappointing that ChildStory is just not fit for purpose.

Some of the more serious issues are:

  • It is not intuitive. Our members have stated that it is actually less user friendly than KIDS
  • No quick, clear global view of a child’s records
  • No phonetic search capability. This will have a major impact at the Helpline when the reported child’s name is misspelt which is very common
  • Training manual and support documents are either not ready or inadequate. There are errors, gaps, incorrect information and basic omissions
  • Coaches and trainers are not receiving the training and support required to deliver or coach training
  • Some trainers are contractors with no knowledge of policy or practice
  • There are many more clicks than KIDS for almost all processes
  • There are many defects and at least 40% – 50% of tasks could not be completed during training due to defects
  • Supporting documents are not available
  • Policy has not been written.

It appears the whole system is fragmented and there is no support structure in place.

Recruitment hasn’t even finished establishing the central support teams which were meant to have been in place 3 months before go live.

Leaving vulnerable children at risk of harm

Our members in Community Services are the first responders to all children reported as being at risk of significant harm.

Our members are committed to keeping children safe either within their homes or, if unsafe, in Out of Home Care. Our members deal with traumatic life events, domestic violence and with the most extreme sexual, physical and emotional abuse of vulnerable children and they do this work to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

It is therefore imperative that service delivery should not be compromised.

If it is, children will be the casualties. We won’t stand for that.

North Coast Police visits

Oct 20, 2017

North Coast Police visits – October 2017 (PDF version)

Next week, PSA Northern Regional Organiser, Asren Pugh, and PSA Organiser for Police, Roland Harris, will be visiting Police sites on the North Coast to discuss regional Re-engineering with staff.

The visits will take place as follows:

Monday 23 October:

  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Tweed-Byron LAC (Tweed Heads)
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm: Firearms Registry (Murwillimbah)

Tuesday 24 October:

  • 9:30am – 10:30am: Richmond LAC (Lismore)
  • 1:30pm – 3:00pm: Coffs-Clarence LAC (Coffs Harbour)

Wednesday 25th October:

  • 10:30am – 11:30am: Kempsey Police Station (Kempsey)
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Mid North Coast LAC (Port Macquarie)


  • Role of the union in Re-engineering
  • Regional LAC amalgamations
  • LAC workload survey
  • PSA membership benefits
  • General business

All staff are encouraged to take the time to meet with us on these visits and raise any questions, issues, or concerns. Membership forms will be available for non-members to sign up on the day.

Please remember that the PSA can only represent its members.

Put a copy of this on your notice board and bring along a colleague – strong membership means a strong union!

Any questions, please contact:

Roland Harris

Asren Pugh

University of Newcastle – Enterprise bargaining update

Oct 20, 2017

University of Newcastle – Enterprise bargaining update – October 2017 (PDF version)

Your CPSU NSW Bargaining Team met with University and other bargaining representatives on 11 October to continue negotiation towards a new enterprise agreement for Professional Staff. In a rotational arrangement, the meeting was chaired by Sue Hodgson.

Chief Operations Officer Nat McGregor gave an update on the University’s financial position and explained that the Executive considered it prudent to impose a “pause” on expenditure during the past week in order to ensure that outgoings remain within the budget forecast. This has extended to a pause on recruitment. The Finance Committee were to meet this week to review the situation.


In response to our requests for a detailed costing of our major claims, Nat McGregor provided the following:

  • Salary
    $15 million
  • Superannuation (17.5% extended to Fixed Term employees)
    $3 million
  • Annual Leave (additional week)
    $12.5 million
  • Staff Development (a range of opportunities identified in our Log)
    $5.5 million
  • Redundancy (26 weeks plus 4 weeks per year of service with no cap)
    $1.25 million
  • Total per annum increase for the costed items
    $47 million p.a.

(All figures are additional per annum on current operating costs and of course the salary costs compound each rise on the previous rise.)

A further breakdown of the Superannuation costing was needed to identify the cost for fixed term staff with less than 12 months service.

With respect for the workloads of Finance staff producing the information, the unions undertook to provide a comprehensive request addressing these issues by Friday 13 October.

CPSU NSW has no interest in seeing the University fail financially and we will be responsible in pursuit of our claims. The livelihood of our members depends on the success of the institution. All of the costed issues need to be balanced against a range of other improvements with low or no cost and we believe that we can find a reasonable path to an agreed outcome. This may require us to reassess the priority of our claims while still ensuring the agreement delivers sustainable improvements for our members, and that is the task you have entrusted to your Bargaining Team. We will continually check with you to ensure we are moving in the right direction.


Heading the agenda at this meeting was a claim to specify rights and responsibilities in respect of LGBTI staff, in addition to related changes to the existing Clause 33 Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying and Victimisation.

The current clause covers all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment, and it was the CPSU NSW view that a list of various potentially affected groups as proposed by the new draft clause would limit the scope rather than extend it. There was discussion about workplace difficulties in gender transition and the need for education and adjustment, as well as inclusive language and processes.

CPSU NSW suggested the addition of a simple clause to recognise the uniqueness of the issues for this group, whilst details may be better placed in policy. We also strongly supported a proposal to establish a working party of management and union representatives to monitor and update diversity and inclusion policy and practices. The University will consider its position and respond on 8 November.

Domestic Violence leave

Your union CPSU NSW has been in the forefront of the state-wide campaign to provide and extend leave for staff involved in situations of domestic violence. The meeting considered a proposal to extend that leave to casual staff and overall to increase the quantum to 20 days paid leave as an additional entitlement over the current entitlement of personal leave.

The grant would depend on evidence from a relevant authority or practitioner that domestic violence has occurred.

An aspect of the proposal was for the creation of a group of trained DV Liaison Officers (similar to the current Ally program) to provide a first point of contact, support and referral.

The University representatives suggested that an increase in the allowance of EAP sessions might be another way to address the problem.

The cost of such an entitlement would be negligible as the university report that this provision is yet to be utilised. The matter returns for discussion on 25 October.

Coming discussions

Following brief consideration and parking of the Flexibility clause, the meeting touched quickly on Performance Review and Development (the University to clarify the role of “supervisor” and explain the operation of the new SAP system). We began to explore the University’s request for an ability to cash out Annual Leave. CPSU NSW affirmed its principled opposition to wholesale ability to cash out leave, since leave was originally negotiated to provide respite and recreation and not intended as a cash injection. We acknowledged however that there might be arguments of hardship that could be accommodated and asked the University to draft for our consideration a clause to address those concerns. This could sit within the clause on individual Flexibility mentioned above.

As to the Incapacity clause, the University explained there are some technical difficulties in its operation with regard to the role of the AMA. A clause will be prepared to address the concern. Other matters were referred to the subsequent meetings, as follows:

25 October: the major item will be Organisational Change, followed (time permitting) by Domestic Violence/Annual Leave and Flexibility/Performance Review and Development/Job Redesign/Incapacity/Long Service Leave. This meeting will be chaired by Lisa Bellamy.

8 November: ATSI Employment/LGBTI supports/matters referred from the previous meeting.

22 November and 6 December: matters referred from the previous meeting.

At the end of each meeting we will set the agenda for the next and we will continue to report to you on progress.

Get involved

We will also be calling general meetings or conducting further surveys as necessary when the issues under discussion require further direction from you, and you are reminded to contact your bargaining representatives at any time if you have any concerns affecting the substantive matters or the process. Please take the time to read through your current agreement and let us know where you see opportunities for improvement.

This is your agreement being negotiated by your CPSU NSW representatives. Stay involved in the process to ensure we can take your voice to the table. At the end of the negotiation you will be asked to vote on the package and we want that to be an informed and deliberate vote. Ask your colleagues to stand with you by joining the CPSU NSW today.

Staff representatives

Sue Freeman

Nick Koster

CPSU NSW staff

Jann Jeffries

Ron Hunter

Please note:

CPSU NSW members are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body for, and resources and manages, the CPSU NSW. www.facebook.com/CPSUnsw

Crown Solicitors Office PSA visit notice

Oct 20, 2017

Crown Solicitor’s Office PSA visit notice – October 2017 (PDF version)

Monday 23 October

9am – 12pm

Conference Room, Level 6

Your union, the PSA has lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission challenging the CSO’s Open-Plan proposal.

Your PSA representative will be onsite to speak to CSO staff about this, and to encourage CSO staff to join the PSA, in order to increase the negotiating power and influence of the PSA in protecting your workplace rights and conditions.

The more members we have, the stronger we become.

Staff are invited to attend to discuss the following:

  • PSA dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission challenging the CSO’s open plan work environment proposal
  • CSO PSA membership Open-Plan proposal feedback report
  • PSA’s lodgement for elected and trained Health, Safety Representatives (HSRs) with CSO management in order to safeguard WHS interests through issuing Performance Improvement Notices and Directing Unsafe Work to Cease
  • PSA’s role at the CSO in enforcing consultation through regular Joint Consultative Committee meetings
  • PSA membership benefits: support for workplace matters, Journey Insurance, Accident Insurance, Family Cover Insurance, $3500 Provident Fund in the event of a member’s death, Union Shopper, discounted banking services with the SCU Credit Union, free Will Pack and tax deductible union fees.

Membership forms will be available for staff wishing to join the PSA or join online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/Register/.

Bring along a non-member colleague for a chat!

United we bargain, divided we beg – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!



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