POVB bulletin – Benchmarking

Nov 6, 2017

POVB bulletin – Benchmarking – November 2017 (PDF version)

Last week two centres had their initial benchmarking meetings:

Dawn De Loas

SAS – Gain 3

AS – Loss 4

SCO – Loss 2

CO – Gain 1

OS – Loss 1

Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Centre

MOS – Loss 1

SAS – Gain 4

AS – Loss 6

SCO – Loss 2

CO – Gain 6.5

OS – Loss 1

These centres will start the initial consultation process of forming a committee to look at the proposal, complete risk assessments, and put up a proposal looking at all the extra information that the CSNSW benchmarking team may not have been aware of.

Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre has been signed off by the Commissioner after much deliberation over funding for infrastructure that was part of the SWWCC benchmarking proposal.

We have heard that future centres have been informed not to put in infrastructure as there is not enough money. If your centre is having job losses, and it is deemed unsafe to reduce those numbers due to infrastructure, then infrastructure needs to be factored in. If you have any issues with this please contact one of the State Executive as soon as possible.

We have given feedback to Correctives Services on Kariong and are now reviewing Berrima with comments due at the end of November.

Natalie is attending Cooma and Mannus this week to assist in benchmarking in those centres.

There are no more centres to have their initial meetings about benchmarking until next year. As yet we have no dates for when these will take place.

A bulletin is going out across all PSA branches informing members that we are before the IRC and a link to see the notification is attached to it.

Serious incidents

Over the last month, we have had several serious incidents:

  • Death in Custody – Tamworth Correctional Centre
  • Death in Custody – MRRC
  • Fire – Moree Court Complex
  • Attempted Escape Hospital Escort – Cessnock
  • Serious Assault on an Inmate – Mid North Coast CC

Tamworth staff have had to endure a lot of publicity and also protests in front of the centre. A death in custody is traumatic for all involved and we offer our support and assistance if and when needed.

As reported in a previous bulletin, Moree Court Complex had a fire where staff were hospitalised.

There was a serious assault on an inmate at Mid North Coast and we offer any assistance to the staff that witnessed this incident now and in the future.

The attempted escape on the hospital escort at John Hunter Hospital resulted in one officer being hospitalised after putting her body on the line to try to stop the inmate.

The female officer has had major surgery on her leg after it was broken in three places and her ankle was dislocated.

The other officer who also needs to be commended, rendered assistance to his injured colleague, called police, and whilst doing all this was able to assist police in the recapture of the inmate.

Both staff members responded to this incident professionally and went above and beyond their call of duty.

I would like to thank the staff from Cessnock that have supported both officers, visited the officer in hospital and supported her family. It is times like this that it makes me proud of our Corrective Services family.

Last month was Mental Health Awareness month. PSA has introduced a care and resilience package and is doing ongoing training for members. The above incidents are a prime example of why this was introduced. As Correctional Officers, we don’t go to work thinking the above incidents are going to happen. We witness some horrible things in the course of our duty and it is hard to go home and talk to family about it. This package assists us all in helping each other.

There is a date for this course on the PSA website for Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

I can try to get regional courses happening if enough members are interested.

PSA courses in 2018

The following courses are available for members in 2018:

Introduction to the PSA Tuesday, 20 February
Role of the Delegate Tuesday, 27 February
Care and Resilience Wednesday, 28 February
Women in the Union Tuesday, 13 March
Dealing with member issues Wednesday, 21 March
Workplace Bullying Tuesday, 3 April
Meeting + Negotiation Skills Tuesday, 10 April
Dealing with restructures Friday, 4 May
Public Speaking Tuesday, 15 May
Intro to the PSA Tuesday, 5 June
Role of the Delegate Tuesday, 12 June
Workplace Bullying Tuesday, 19 June
Care and Resilience Wednesday, 20 June
Achieving workplace flexibility Wednesday ,27 June

I encourage all new delegates to do the Role of the Delegate and Meeting + Negotiation Skills. The application form is on the PSA website.

Nicole Jess

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

Corrective Services Benchmarking bulletin – Back in the Industrial Relations Commission

Nov 6, 2017

Corrective Services Benchmarking bulletin – Back in the Industrial Relations Commission – November 2017 (PDF version)

All PSA branches in Corrective Services (NCDC, POVB, COVB, SEAG) have been involved in the benchmarking negotiations. Last year the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) about the lack of consultation and Corrective Services was told by the Commission it must consult.

While meetings and negotiations have been held at the centres benchmarked so far, the PSA does not agree with some of the processes being followed and the information provided.

As a result we have relodged the dispute in the IRC. The dispute notification is HERE.

One of the major problems is Corrective Services will not release the Macksam Report and is asking members to trust them the figures behind one of the largest changes in running centres for years are correct and there is nothing to worry about.

Other areas in the dispute include:

  • the appointment process including ‘ring fencing’
  • cyclic rostering
  • Case Management Allowances
  • Assistant Superintendents
  • SCOs taking on higher graded duties without recognition
  • OPM and COPPs
  • roles and duties of administrative staff (who were meant to outside of benchmarking)
  • Offender Services and Programs.

The dispute will be heard on Monday, 13 November 2017 and all members will be updated on progress.

POVB bulletin – Cyclic Rostering

Nov 1, 2017

POVB bulletin – Cyclic Rostering – November 2017 (PDF version)

As members would be aware, CSNSW is implementing a change to our current monthly rosters in the form of Cyclic Rostering.

The POVB Executive is aware this will cause some angst to members. We have sought legal advice and the rosters that CSNSW wish to work under come under “managerial prerogative”.

The POVB Executive has attended many meetings to get as much flexibility into the Business Rules. We feel has been achieved but want to hear feedback form you all in case we have missed anything. These Business Rules have been sent to all Chairpersons of each Sub-Branch. We are now at a stage where we can send the Business Rules to members individually.

Please read the Business Rules and the Fact Sheet and give feedback to your Chairperson. This feedback will be delivered at the Delegates meeting on 14 and 15 November 2017, which representatives from each centre will be attending.

Cyclic Rostering will not be applicable to Ivanhoe, Brewarrina, court locations and overseers.

The Business Rules are HERE.

The Fact Sheet is HERE.

This issue was raised before the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) and if positive outcomes regarding the Business Rules cannot be achieved the IRC is there to assist. At present, all requests POVB had asked for have been placed into the Business Rules. Again, if you see anything that we may have missed, please forward them to your delegate for the meeting.

CSNSW has agreed to meet after the implementation on an ongoing basis to address any issues that may arise.

The POVB Executive understands flexibility is only as good as the Manager approving the requests. As we currently do now, when flexibility at centres is an issue the POVB Executive will intervene. This will not be an issue once the system is automated, because if it is in line with the Business Rules the system will automatically approve the request.

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

POVB bulletin – Casual to permanent

Nov 1, 2017

POVB bulletin – Casual to permanent – November 2017 (PDF version)

There has been recruitment for casual-to-permanent in several locations over the past couple of months. This has been in the areas of Wellington, Macquarie, Hunter, John Morony, Mary Wade and Silverwater Women’s.

POVB/PSA is aware CSNSW is looking to recruit for MRRC and Long Bay Complex. There is concern out there that, due to benchmarking not being completed, there will not be enough positions for the current permanent staff.

The above locations are either new centres or centres that have been benchmarked. For some time, there has been no recruitment at this level due to POVB/PSA requesting, at the onset of benchmarking, that recruitment is ceased as well as promotion to higher ranks. It is clear the vacancies at the CO rank is becoming unworkable and at times creating unsafe environments in some locations.

Due to this, POVB/PSA wrote to CSNSW asking for the vacancies around the state and to meet to look at the issue holistically to get the best outcomes for all. As yet this has not taken place, and if need be, if not resolved we will take this to the Industrial Relations Commission.

At the above locations that have had recruitment, some issues have occurred that we would like to clear up.

  • Members have been informed in some locations that they must stay there for two years.

POVB has clearly articulated to CSNSW that the reassignment at grade policy clearly states that when a person transfers to another location or starts at another location the requirement to remain at that centre is one year. If any member has an issue with this please contact one of the Executive and we will sort it out immediately.

  • If you are on probation, you cannot put your name down for a transfer until after one year at a centre or until the completion of your probationary period.

This is not correct. You can put your name down on the transfer list as soon as you are made probationary. Your name may come up prior to the one-year mark, which means you cannot accept until after that milestone at your current centre. You will remain on the list where you are until the one year is up.

  • Can you wear one stripe whilst on probationary?

POVB raised this issue at the CSNSW Benchmarking Reform meeting on Monday, 30 October 2017. We have some members allowed to wear the rank at one centre and then not at another centre. POVB has asked for consistency in this. There are no clear Business Rules for staff to know their entitlements or giving direction to Governors and MOSs in this issue. We have requested Business Rules and will update members when information becomes available.

We are hoping that there will be clear direction in the future to alleviate the above concerns.

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

Corrective Services benchmarking bulletin

Oct 31, 2017

Corrective Services benchmarking bulletin – October 2017 (PDF version)

As members would be aware, CSNSW is currently going through major “benchmarking” reform. This reform means considerable loss in positions, jobs and changes to the way business is conducted throughout centres.

Below is the proposed resource impact to date. Highlighted in red are the centres that have been signed off by the Commissioner.

Proposed resource impact to date

 Launch Date
Centre State CusCor CSI OS&P Total Establishment Variation
20 Jul 16 SCCC 667 117 36 22 175 -12
25 Jul 16 MNCCC 564 117 33 15 165 -7
17 Mar 17 Wellington 701 117 35 16.5 168.5 -19


20 Mar 17















22 Mar 17 Broken Hill 89 37 5 3 45 +2
23 Mar 17 Ivanhoe 50 13 3 1 17 -1
29 Mar 17 Brewarrina 30 12 6 2 20 +1
6 Jun 17 Berrima 75 24 7 5 36 -4
6 Jul 17 Kariong 99 46 2 3 51 -1
19 Jul 17 Tamworth 89 41 3 5 49 +2
31 Jul 17 St Heliers 286 37 25 5 67 Nil
4 Aug 17 Cessnock 881 179 47 33 259 -37
8 Aug 17 Cooma 200 39 11 3 53 -1
10 Aug 17 Mannus 164 19 14 4 37 -4
20 Sept 17 Dillwynia 313 93 13 24 130 -18
26 Sept 17 Emu Plains 193 49 11 11.5 71.5 -4
10 Oct 17 Grafton 272 77 7 7 91 0
11 Oct 17 Glen Innes 208 24 17 4 45 +2
19 Oct 17 MSPC 1-4 1221 267 31 59 357 -46
25 Oct 17 SPC 60 58 0 2 60 +3
26 Oct 17 Long Bay Hospital 501 191 0 8 199 -29

Benchmarking means the deletion of the Assistant Superintendent rank in Correctional Centres and considerable reduction in the Senior Correctional Officer rank.

The PSA obtained legal advice on more than one occasion in regards to the restructure and it comes under “managerial prerogative”, which limits our options in the Industrial Relations Commission.

CSNSW Reform Consultation meetings are held fortnightly and all issues that are raised by the membership are raised at these meetings. On Monday, 16 October, there was a considerable outcome which is that Assistant Superintendents who move to Case Management Clerk positions will be afforded the opportunity to move back to the limited Assistant Superintendent roles or take a redundancy at the rank of Assistant Superintendent if funding of the Clerk positions is not extended. The same applies to Senior Correctional Officers who move to the Clerk positions.

Voluntary redundancies are going to be offered to affected staff as each centre is benchmarked. The PSA advised staff to get financial advice prior to accepting a voluntary redundancy and to look at all options being offered by CSNSW.

This process is getting to the tail end and the PSA feels this section will result in the most loss. The PSA will continue to work closely with the membership and delegates to get the best possible outcomes.

There is a united approach by the State Executive of the SEAG, COVB, POVB and NCDC in regards to the Benchmarking Reform. The PSA’s position has been to look after the members’ interests collectively across the State.

Members may have been aware of some discussion around ring-fencing. CSNSW are now seeking to move away from the agreement of ring-fencing centres individually and looking to cluster or group ring fencing. The PSA is opposed to ring-fencing across complexes or groupings of centres, such as Bathurst, Lithgow and Kirkconnell, as this will have an adverse impact on the membership and impact complexes whereby some centres in the complex have been benchmarked previously.


Nicole Jess – Chair POVB

Craig Wunsch – Chair NCDC

Darren Wells – Chair COVB

Guy Sim – Chair SEAG

POVB – member update

Oct 27, 2017

POVB – member update – 27 Oct 2017 (PDF version)


This week there were further benchmarking initial meetings at:


SAS increase x 1
AS loss x 3
SCO increase x 2
CO increase x 3

Long Bay Hospital 1+2

MOS loss x 1
SAS increase x 2
AS loss x 7
SCO loss x 12
CO loss x 10

As with the MSPC benchmarking figures, the loss at Long Bay Hospital is considerable also.  It goes without saying the POVB Executive will work closely with the delegates of both centres.

Next week we will be going to:

Dawn De Loas: 31 October
OMMPC: 1 November

These will be the last centres to be benchmarked this year.

South Coast Correctional Centre

I would like to congratulate the delegates at South Coast Correctional Centre who worked tirelessly to get a positive outcome in regards to how the VOR was being implemented at South Coast Correctional Centre.

This centre was having issues with a lack of information getting passed to members when after parade, throughout the day, changes were being made to the operation of the centre.

As per the safe staffing award any change to the operation of a centre must be relayed to members so they know the risks or non-risks to their safe working environment.

The delegates called a stop work meeting when it was continuing to happen, the members stood firm. A motion was put to management about what was acceptable with reasonable requests.

This centre is now working with a system that provides staff with the information that is imperative to make sure staff are aware of any changes to their work environment.

I congratulate the delegates and the members for getting the positive outcome. If any delegate is having similar issues the delegates of the centre would be more than willing to assist you with your issues.

Moree Court Cells

Moree Court Cells suffered a serious fire earlier this week. Two staff were hospitalised but now discharged from hospital and recovering at home.  The court cells have severe damage to them and the staff at that cell complex are going to have to work under difficult conditions in the future.

Firstly, I wish to commend the staff involved as they were able, at the risk to their safety, get the inmates out. This incident highlights the lack of breathing equipment for staff to respond for the extraction of inmates in these situations. The executive will be raising this issue with CSNSW not only for the Court Cells but for all centres.

Cyclic rostering

The business rules will be coming out to the delegates/centres to distribute to the membership for feedback.

Delegates will be attending PSA on 14 and
15 November and we would like any feedback by then please so it can be forwarded to CSNSW.

Mid North Coast

Mid North Coast has started the second phase of benchmarking and the staffing has been changed as per the plan.

There are several issues that have been happening at the centre, such as roles, responsibilities and delegations. Having only one SAS on a weekend when the facility has had numerous serious incidents has been raised as a concern.

I have been in contact with Chairperson of the centre and some issues are being dealt with locally and other issues will be dealt with via the CSNSW benchmarking reform meetings. The next meeting is this Monday coming.

The benchmarking issues at Mid North will be raised as an agenda item for the Delegates meeting in November.

John Morony

Jason and Darren attended the centre to assist organising the delegates for the sub branch.  I congratulate the delegates for putting their hand up to do the role. At times, it is a very difficult role to do with little thanks.

The POVB executive will assist them with any issues that arise when the new centre comes on line. We will also assist them in getting training from PSA.


Nicole Jess
Chairperson POVB





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