POVB bulletin – Chiefs and Principals

Sep 22, 2017

POVB bulletin – Chiefs and Principals – September 2017 (PDF version)

As some of you may be aware, a rule change was passed by the PSA Executive and PSA Central Council to move Chiefs and Principals (the equivalent of Executives) to the COVB instead of coming under the POVB. Under the Kempsey, Dillwynia and Wellington Award, Chiefs and Principals were part of the POVB which was an anomaly as it had Executives and the staff they supervise in the same branch. This rule change now has all Executive members in the COVB.

This was not an award change and there is no change to the conditions or salaries of POVB or COVB members. It is only a change to the PSA branch that members have representing them.

In previous meetings (DTMs and discussions with delegates/members), it has been said by many that it has not been cohesive or effective to have POVB meetings with managers present.

Members have also said they do not feel they can raise managerial issues in meetings when those managers are also present.

When John Morony was kept in public hands, it came under the Kempsey, Dillwynia and Wellington Award. The problem of having managers in meetings and the possibility of moving them across to the COVB was discussed with the COVB Executive and the COVB agreed it would suit both branches. The COVB and POVB are represented by different PSA staff so there is no cross-over in representation.

Existing members of the POVB Legal Fund remain in the fund and those who moved to the COVB are eligible to stand for election and vote in the upcoming COVB election.

Unfortunately, there was communication with Wellington, Dillwynia and John Morony but not the MNCC. I take full responsibility for the lack of communication. I have already put out a bulletin with that apology.

Questions have been asked why we did not have a POVB-wide survey as we did with including John Morony under the Kempsey, Dillwynia and Wellington Award. The problem with this is that the majority of POVB members would be voting on a decision that did not directly affect them. There was a vote for John Morony as it changed the conditions members worked under, but this coverage change does not change conditions.

This change was done for the betterment of the POVB and COVB and to ensure that there are clear lines between the POVB and the COVB, between Executives and other staff.

Already CSNSW have tried to blur the lines by wanting to get SCOs to stand on parade at the new Macquarie centre, also the subject of a previous bulletin.

I take full responsibility for the lack of communication. I did stand on transparency and I have learnt from this. I will say that this was not done to hide or deceive members and I believe myself and the team have proven that we work tirelessly for the betterment of the POVB.


Nicole Jess

POVB bulletin – 22 September 2017

Sep 22, 2017

POVB bulletin 22 September 2017 (PDF version)

John Morony

John Morony is progressing. First Class staff been told where they are going and in what time frame.

SCOs have been informed if they are staying. We now have the task of finding placements for the SCOs who are not staying at John Morony.

Casuals have been made permanent for this centre also.

In the coming weeks, we will organise interim delegates for the sub-branch there and organise union training for staff.

Prison Officers of Australasia Conference

Jason, Natalie, David McCauley and myself attended the conference which was held in Darwin last week. This is a gathering of all unions that deal with prisons coming together to discuss issues that are happening nationwide and includes New Zealand. We did a tour of the new Darwin facility, which by my estimates, is probably on and a half times bigger than Nowra. An extremely large gaol that has significantly less staff. The centre has a large number of Indigenous inmates and is overcrowded also.

Overcrowding is across all states/territories and New Zealand. When discussing awards/conditions, I found most states are on enterprise bargaining agreements and there is no consistency between the agreements. I am endeavouring to get all the agreements together to do a spreadsheet and highlight differences and for us to compare. When this is finalised I will forward to members.

Kempsey/Dillwynia/Wellington/John Morony Award

When John Morony was agreed to go under the Kempsey/Dillwynia and Wellington Award it was agreed in principle between COVB and POVB to move Chiefs and Principals to the COVB. When benchmarking is finalised it will only be Principals. This was decided, as for years, there has been complaints from these various sub-branches that having managers in a union meeting makes it very difficult for staff to discuss issues they may be having.

To make the change nothing had to be altered in the award as it is a change to the POVB Rules and COVB Rules. This was passed in the PSA Executive and then in Central Council.

This means that Chiefs and Principals now come under the COVB and will have to form a sub branch and elect delegates. Greg Deleprado – Chairperson COVB and his Executive will assist those members in those locations in this process.

I would like to apologise to Gavin Hughes, Chairperson MNCC, the Chiefs and Principals in Kempsey as there was miscommunication between the PSA/POVB Executive and they were unfortunately not informed officially of the process. The other centres have been and we have had no issues raised from the discussions. This was purely miscommunication. This was not done out of malice. The outcome is the best for the POVB. I understand that some are upset and I will take that on board for the future.


The next round of benchmarking will begin next week. Long Bay Hospital 1 and 2 will meet combined but we have asked that the presentation clearly articulate the staffing for each location. This did not happen at Cessnock and it created confusion at the initial meeting. The same will occur for MSPC as that has 4 different centres in it.

I am hearing some grumblings about why we have not had industrial action over benchmarking. The time for industrial action was when benchmarking was first implemented and when this team got elected we were already near the final completion of the three-month phase for the first centres being benchmarked.

We sought legal advice and took the issue to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). All aspects were looked at and addressed including the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act. CSNSW are allowing us to have input into the risk assessments. These assessments have been beneficial in us retraining and keeping some posts throughout the process. These assessments have clearly shown that we need them for safety reasons. We will support each sub-branch as they go through the process. If they think they require more staff and can clearly show that we will not move on until this is addressed.This has been proven at South Coast Correctional Centre.

Delegates to management meeting

Confirmation of actual dates for November will be put out to delegates this Friday. Detached duties will be sent to the Department.

All agenda items/motions can be forwarded to Natalie Howes – Secretary and myself.

Nicole Jess
Chairperson, POVB

Contact details:

Nicole Jess – Chairperson
0427 609 199

Jason Charlton – Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976

Thor Sutherland – Country Chairperson
0447 633 476

Natlie Howes – Secretary
0407 011 441

Darren King – Assistant Secretary
0407 935 039

POVB member bulletin

Sep 8, 2017

POVB member bulletin – September 2017 (PDF version)

All POVB Members would aware CSNSW is currently going through the benchmarking process. Installation of infrastructure at the Macquarie and Hunter Rapid Builds is near completion. Staff have already been placed at Macquarie in order to get the centre ready for inmates to be housed there and Hunter is moving along ahead of schedule.

With these changes, CSNSW Benchmarking reforms sees SCOs’ responsibilities changing. They will be acting in a more supervisory role rather than as wing officers.

The POVB State Executive recently attended a meeting with CSNSW Management in relation to roles and responsibilities for all ranks. There was also representation from the COVB at that meeting. The POVB made it clear SCOs will guide, mentor and manage staff of a lower rank but we will not discipline them. The POVB raised an issue at Macquarie where management has directed SCOs to stand at the front of staff parade with functional managers of that centre.

On several occasions we have maintained we will not accept the practice of SCOs calling staff parade or standing with management at the front of parade. We feel that this practice divides the POVB rather than unites us. It is a practice that has not been put to the POVB Management Committee and until a decision by the POVB Management Committee has taken place we are directing members not to partake in this divisive practice.

The POVB State Executive has clearly articulated this to CSNSW and Director Glen Scholes has given the POVB State Executive an assurance there is no expectation for SCOs to stand at the front of parade with management.

If you have any issues with this directive please contact:

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

POVB member update – September 2017

Sep 6, 2017

POVB member update – September 2017 (PDF Version)

Cyclic rostering

Members of the Executive had another meeting about this issue and its implementation. Our meetings are about bedding down the business rules and making sure there is flexibility for members. Once the rules are to a standard for presentation, we will put it out to the membership for consultation and input.


We have requested an urgent meeting about vacancies around the state. Most locations are getting to the point where it is getting dangerous; with the majority of staff being casuals and no consistency. We have requested the meeting so there is a uniform approach across all locations that is fair and equitable for casuals to become permanent. Transfer lists need to be activated, too.

We also need to keep in mind benchmarking is not finalised, so not all vacancies can be filled.

As we get more information we will put it out to the membership.

Delegates to Management meeting

We are in the process of negotiating our second Delegates to Management meeting in November. It was initially denied but we have sought further negotiation on the matter. Possible action or lodging a dispute in the IRC will be considered if it is not approved.

Mental health

PSA General Secretary Stewart Little, David McCauley and myself attended the Respect your Mental Health conference put on for Correctional Officers by the Western Australian Prison Officer Union. It was extremely informative and this is a topic I am very passionate about. Statistics show prison officers in the US and Canada are at 33 per cent risk of suicide compared to the average person, which is under 10 per cent.

The PSA has formulated a package called Safe Together: Care and Resilience. This can be presented at the workplace or at PSA House. I encourage as many members and delegates to do the training. If it can help one member in the workplace, it is well worth it.

PSA members are entitled to 12 training days every two years. Listed below are courses members and delegates may find relevant.

Public Speaking – 10 October, 2017

Achieving Workplace Flexibility –  18 October, 2017

Safer Together: Care and Resilience – 26 October and 16 November, 2017

Role of the Delegate: 2 day course – 31 October and 1 November, 5 and 6 December 2017

Dealing with Workplace Bullying – 10 November 2017

Dealing with Restructures – 28 November 2017

To apply for the courses go to the PSA website click on Resources, then Training then you click on the link for the Application Form.

Members who have done these courses have told us they are informative and beneficial for the workplace.

Nicole Jess,


If anyone has any issues and they wish to contact us our details are:

Nicole Jess, Chairperson – 0427 609 199

Jason Charlton, Vice Chairperson – 0401 500 967

Thor Sutherland, Country Chairperson – 0447 633 476

Natalie Howes, Secretary – 0407 011 441

Darren King, Assistant Secretary – 0407 935 039


COVB members’ update

Sep 1, 2017

COVB members’ update – Sept 2017 (PDF version)

COVB members across the state passed and forwarded to the PSA a motion calling for legal advice on the proposed deletion of the rank of Assistant Superintendent and also on the feasibility on withdrawing from Benchmarking negotiations.

The advice is attached HERE. The PSA apologises for the delay, but this was beyond our control.

In short, the advice is that Corrective Services is able to delete the rank and there are no grounds to prevent this either through the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) or another court.

The advice also says, and the PSA agrees with this, that withdrawing from Benchmarking discussions will allow Corrective Services to do whatever it wants without any opposition. The PSA lodged a dispute in the IRC in 2016 because Corrective Services was not consulting with members and, as unpalatable as it is, consultation needs to continue.

POVB bulletin – MRRC

Aug 25, 2017

POVB bulletin – MRRC – August 2017 (PDF version)

This week the final three members went before the District Court of Appeal regarding charges they were found guilty on in February 2017.

All three members were found not guilty on appeal. This means all eight members who were charged by police have been found not guilty and one member had a no bill due to no evidence.

This is a great week for all nine members and for POVB/PSA and the legal fund. I would like to thank McNally Jones Staff lawyers for their tireless efforts in representing the members. Also to David McCauley who does his best for us at all times.

I congratulate all nine members in the way they managed themselves during this extremely stressful and difficult time in their lives. This whole process has had a major effect on their professional and personal lives. I wish them and their families all the best in their future.

The executive will work with these three members in getting them back to work when they are able to return. I am sure that all prison officers wish them all the best and support them now and into the future.

Nicole Jess
Chair POVB



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