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PSA expect FACS announcement on savage cuts to corporate services

Aug 18, 2017

PSA expect FACS announcement on savage cuts to corporate services – August 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA will meet with newly appointed Deputy Secretary, John Hubby, on 22 August to discuss the agency’s plans for the future of corporate services delivery.

Every indication we’ve received from FACS suggests the agency intends to make extensive changes to its corporate service arm through a combination of job cuts and contracting out. Anecdotal reports suggest some areas expect to lose in excess of 60 per cent of existing staff, while other services currently  performed ‘in-house’ are tendered out to private sector providers.

Underpinning the mooted change is a shift in thinking about role of the public sector in the delivery of ‘public services’. We understand the Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter and Mr Hubby share a view the public sector should adopt a more ‘strategic’ role (i.e. goal setting) while inviting the private sector to tender for the operational (service delivery) side of the agency’s ‘business’.

The PSA believes there is already ample evidence – in NSW, other state jurisdictions and internationally – to demonstrate that outsourcing is not a silver bullet solution to the challenges facing the public sector. In fact, it has led to significantly decreased services, support and outcomes for the community. Rather, the biggest obstacles to achieving improved social outcomes in the human services are under-resourcing, under-investment and structural instability (that is, constant, poorly designed and disruptive organisational change) in the public sector.

The PSA has previously written to Deputy Premier, the Hon John Barilaro, to express concern over the impact of job cuts on regional NSW. Mr Barilaro never replied to our correspondence.

In our view, no government in living memory has overseen such a consistent and concerted attack on public sector jobs and core public services – such as child protection, ageing and disability services and social housing including the vital front-line support that corporate services provides – as has the current NSW Government. As a result of outsourcing and savage restructuring, the number of FACS employees is expected to be cut from approximately 21,000 in June 2014 (FACS Annual Report) to about 7,000 employees come July 2018.

In the past six years, the various Coalition Governments (O’Farrell, Baird, Berejiklian) have done their utmost to cut, privatise and hollow out the Department of Family and Community Services to the extent that it is now an open question as to whether this government intends to have any role in the provision of services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society in the future, or whether they simply plan to vacate the field and leave social welfare to the private and charitable sectors.

You deserve better, your colleagues deserve better and the people of NSW deserve better.

Your union will continue to advocate on your behalf for a fairer deal with all levels of management, politicians and the courts if necessary, and do all we can to minimise if not stop entirely this radical proposal and its disastrous potential after-effects.

There has never been a more important time to stick together and stay involved.

PSA meetings in your workplace

Contact us to arrange a visit to your workplace at FACSOrganising@psa.asn.au.

You can support the work of the PSA and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN their union.

Update your details easily online

Update your payment method, home or work location and your contact details easily through our online portal HERE.

NSW Police Re-engineering update

Aug 18, 2017

NSW Police Re-engineering update – August 2017 (PDF version)

On 17 August 2017 the PSA lodged a Dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) about NSW Police’s failure to consult about re-engineering.

This dispute has been listed in the IRC on Wednesday, 23 August 2017. The PSA will be seeking a clearly defined and transparent consultation process in order to protect our members’ interests during re-engineering.

The PSA will update members after the IRC appearance.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Look out for meeting notices and bulletins and advise the PSA of any developments and matters of concern
  • Call the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 or

Office of Environment and Heritage member bulletin

Aug 18, 2017

Office of Environment and Heritage member bulletin – August 2017 (PDF version)

On Monday 14 August 2017, the PSA Organiser for OEH, Latu Sailosi and the PSA Delegate for Heritage Division (HD), Stuart Read, attended a consultative meeting with Pauline McKenzie, Executive Director HD, on the Heritage in Transition (HiT) restructure proposal.

The PSA raised a number of key members concerns:

  • designated Aboriginal roles are identified in the organisational structure before recruitment/assessment action commence
  • reduction in the number of EO 14 (4 to 3) positions/roles will have direct impacts on existing staff at grade and a cascading effect on staff below (esp. EO 14 position)
  • a planned mitigation – i.e. managed approach is adopted to dampen negative impacts such as workload issues – is built into the restructure plan
  • completed Role Descriptions are provided to the PSA and to staff before recruitment/assessment action commence
  • an appeal/review process is included, to provide an opportunity for unsuccessful recruitment/assessment outcomes and individual grievances to be reviewed
  • Heritage Division will provide an opportunity for incumbent staff with capability, skill, and experience gaps to meet the requirements of the new roles with ongoing training and development for a defined period, where possible.

We can report Ms Mckenzie is favourable to the majority of the concerns raised by the PSA, although it remained unmoved on its decision not to identify the designated Aboriginal roles in the structure before recruitment/assessment action commences.

The PSA understands Ms Mckenzie has invited all Heritage Division staff to attend a number of briefings next week on the HiT processes and time frames. The first meeting will be on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 August 2017 at the Heritage Division’s Parramatta office. This will be followed by a HiT staff brieffing in Dubbo, on Wednesday 23 August, and a HiT briefing to staff on, Thursday 24 at Queanbeyan.

  • PSA Organiser, Latu Sailosi will attend Mondays HiT briefing at Parramatta
  • PSA Delegate, Stuart Read will attend Tuesdays HiT briefing at Parramatta
  • PSA Regional Organiser, Belinda Pearce will attend HiT briefing at Dubbo

The PSA’s role, throughout these consultative meetings, has been to strongly advocate for our members and compel HD, where possible, to ensure staff are provided adequate information, adequate safety nets for affected staff and mitigate against problems which may impact staff in the new structure.

As you may be aware, Heritage Division has the right to reorganise the organisation to align with the Government’s priorities and business function. As with most restructures, some positions/roles have been directly affected (redundant) to the organisations programs and priorities. Similarly, new roles will be created to reflect new programs and operations.

The PSA welcomes all members wishing to raise issues and concerns to do so by email contact with Stuart Read and Latu Sailosi.

Lastly, it is important we work together and maintain the effectiveness of our position by ensuring all Heritage staff are members of the PSA so we are more able to collectively negotiate favourable outcomes. Join the PSA and fight to maintain your work rights!

University of Wollongong Northfields Avenue meeting notice

Aug 18, 2017

University of Wollongong Northfields Avenue meeting notice – August 2017 (PDF version)

Notice of Worksite Visit

South East Regional Organiser Tony Heathwood will be visiting your worksite as follows:

UoW – Northfields Ave Campus

Wednesday 30 August 2017

30am-2.30pm

Room 19 – 1084

Tony will be available to speak to all staff about how together we can build strength and power in the workplace, the benefits of membership, current CPSU NSW campaigns and initiatives and general workplace issues

If you have any particular matters you would like to discuss please email Tony at theathwood@psa.asn.au with the details, to ensure he has the relevant information.

All staff are welcome to attend

(Non-members will be asked to join)

It’s time to get involved!

PSA campaign rejecting outright forced relocation of OSR Maitland staff to Gosford

Aug 18, 2017

PSA campaign rejecting outright forced relocation of OSR Maitland staff to Gosford – August 2017 (PDF version)

In the past two months there has been a groundswell of opposition from the local Hunter community to the NSW Government’s plan to force 40 Office of State Revenue (OSR) roles from OSR offices in Maitland to Gosford.

Last week the PSA officially launched its campaign to save local Hunter OSR jobs, with state MP for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison.

We are pleased to say the event generated significant local media. The message is simple: hands off local jobs!

Most recently, we were in the Maitland Mercury, which can be read HERE, and on NBN TV which can be viewed HERE.

There are significant issues with the forced relocation:

  • the Government’s brazen arrogance in directing staff to shift their entire livelihoods, without consulting those staff, as is its obligation under the Crown Conditions (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009
  • excess time travel is a significant health and safety concern. The Government has failed to address these concerns as required under WHS legislation
  • will have a huge impact on the local Hunter economy; including all associated flow-on effects of relocating entire families, such as, the decreasing of numbers of children in local schools and people shopping locally
  • the relocation allowance is woefully inadequate.

This issue could easily affect anyone in the public service, simply by the stroke of a minister’s pen.

It is now becoming increasingly visible, however, that the Government is beginning to feel the pressure on its forced relocation plan. We want it to realise it has got it wrong, completely wrong, and compel it to back down.

As such the PSA has developed the attached petition to raise awareness and ultimately have the matter debated in Parliament.

You can find a copy of the petition sheet HERE.

Hard copies (originals only) of the petition can be returned to the PSA at 160 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 by mid October.

NSW Police Re-engineering update

Aug 17, 2017

NSW Police Re-engineering update – August 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA understands the Commissioner of Police has convened a meeting of the Re-Engineering Taskforce with the Police Association in attendance.

The PSA was not invited to the taskforce meeting. This is contrary to the NSW Police obligation to consult about proposed changes affecting our members.

It is also contrary to undertakings by NSW Police the PSA would be a part of the Re-Engineering Taskforce.

The PSA is deeply concerned that the failure to follow the agreed consultation framework is disrespectful to the PSA and our members.

The PSA has now lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission about the failure to consult and will advise our members of further developments.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Look out for meeting notices and bulletins and advise the PSA of any developments and matters of concern
  • Call the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 or
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