ONRSR to ballot staff on pay offer

Nov 28, 2017

ONRSR to ballot staff on pay offer – November 2017 (PDF version)

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has rejected a push by the CPSU and employee representatives for additional improvements to salaries, advising the bargaining representatives that it now intends to ballot staff on a new deal to replace the existing enterprise agreement. ONRSR is yet to clarify with the CPSU the precise timeframe for the ballot, however we expect it to be before Christmas.

Following yesterday’s meeting (27 November), the CPSU wrote to ONRSR to request a marked-up version of the proposed enterprise agreement with tracked changes, plus copies of the agency’s performance management policy and data relating to the possible impact of changes to incremental progression.

In terms of pay, ONRSR are offering staff a continuation of the existing annual 2 percent or Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase (whichever is greater) over the life of a three year agreement. While there may be some additional increases in annual salary through incremental progression, at this stage, the CPSU does not know how many staff may ultimately benefit (ie are currently below the top of their grade), or how performance and behaviour are measured to assess ‘above expectation’ performance.

In other matters, ONRSR has proposed a further amendment to Duty Officer Allowance following feedback from employee representatives. ONRSR will now pay a flat $20 daily allowance instead of the proposed $17.30 plus annual increases of CPI as previously advised. It has been the CPSU’s position to link the allowance to CPI, thereby guaranteeing the real value of the allowance into the future, however, we understand from employee representatives that an overwhelming majority of ONRSR employees favour a flat increase to $20 for the life of the agreement.

Next steps

We have requested a marked-up version of the proposed enterprise agreement and other relevant material by Wednesday, 29 November.

We will then put together a summary of the key changes being proposed and organise a series of CPSU member information sessions. Details will be forward to CPSU members shortly.

All CPSU members will have an opportunity to vote on whether the CPSU endorses or rejects ONRSR’s proposal.

For further information on bargaining, or to unsubscribe, contact our Senior Industrial Officer, Thane Pearce at tpearce@psa.asn.au or our Senior Organiser, Lisa Nelson at lnelson@psa.asn.au.

Not a member? Join your state CPSU branch today.

NSW
https://membership.psa.asn.au/register

Western Australia
https://www.cpsucsa.org/join

South Australia
http://www.cpsu.asn.au/membership/join-now/psa-application-form

Victoria
https://cpsuvic.org/forms/join.php

Queensland
https://web.cpsu.org.au/join/asp/join.asp

CPSU update – ONRSR to link incremental progression to performance assessment process

Nov 27, 2017

CPSU update – ONRSR to link incremental progression to performance assessment process – November 2017 (PDF version)

In response to union and employee representative requests for greater clarity on incremental salary progression decisions, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has proposed amending the enterprise agreement to link incremental progression to the agency’s performance management and development framework.

Under ONRSR’s proposal, employees who “exceed expectations” will be eligible for incremental advancement within their grade. Currently, ONRSR is only required to “consider” incremental advancement and staff have complained the existing system is too opaque and fails to recognise or reward quality performance.

While the CPSU argued that the benchmark for progression should be performance “at expectation”, ONRSR rejected this proposing instead the higher standard as a condition of any agreement to vary the existing arrangements.

Managers will also be required to provide written feedback to their staff at the conclusion of the performance review process.

In other developments, ONRSR has:

  • agreed to increase the Duty Officer Allowance to $17.30 per day and too link it to annual movements in CPI in accordance with the CPSU’s claim
  • proposed changes to special leave to include leave for domestic violence; cultural, religious and ceremonial events; compassionate grounds and emergency situations
  • provided financial assistance to RSOs who require prescription safety glasses for work
  • provided more flexibility under the agency’s travel, expenses and reimbursement policy for expenses incurred on travel to remote locations
  • proposed a new Trainee Rail Safety Officer classification, including automatic advancement to RSO 1 on successful completion of traineeship.

Future annual increases remain contentious

Union and employee representatives have rejected ONRSR’s initial offer of annual increases of two per cent or CPI (whichever is greater).

The CPSU and employee representatives are seeking a minimum three per cent annual increase over three years, which would keep pace with national movements in public sector salaries and maintain ONRSR’s competitive position in the industry’s labour market.

ONRSR has undertaken to respond when the parties meet again on 27 November 2017.

For further information on bargaining, or if you’d like to arrange a meeting or teleconference, contact our Senior Industrial Officer, Thane Pearce at tpearce@psa.asn.au or Senior Organiser Lisa Nelson at lnelson@psa.asn.au.

Not a member? Join your state CPSU branch today.

DFSI Rec leave update

Nov 24, 2017

DFSI Rec leave update – November 2017 (PDF version)

In the past fortnight, various members within DFSI have contacted the PSA in relation to concerns they are being approached by their manager/supervisor who is requesting they plan leave if their total exceeds 25 days, and directing them to take leave prior their rec leave balance reaching 30 days.

The PSA wrote to DFSI Employee Relations (ER) advising them we have become aware managers have been taking this action, which is in breach of the award. Our letter pointed out the award only permits any direction to take leave once the individual staff member has been written to at the time when the individual’s rec leave balance is six weeks.

The Award Clause 77.2.3 states “The Department Head shall notify the staff member in writing when accrued recreation leave reaches 6 weeks or its hourly equivalent and at the same time may direct a staff member to take at least 2 weeks recreation leave within 3 months of the notification at a time convenient to the Department.”

We requested an urgent meeting with DFSI ER to discuss this practice to ensure the Award would be appropriately observed and applied in the future.

DFSI ER wrote back stating “managers holding conversations with staff members in regards to planning rec leave is a proactive approach to managing leave accruals and the health and safety of our employees”.

The PSA has no particular problem with that. However, DFSI ER went on to claim “these discussions are not formal directions to take leave”.

The purpose of this bulletin is to communicate to all members who may be/have been directed by their manager or supervisor to take leave prior to their rec leave balance reaching 30 days, that they ought to print out this bulletin, show it to their manager/supervisor advising that they cannot be directed to take leave prior to their rec leave balance reaching 30 days.

And further, members should point out to their manager/supervisor that DFSI ER has confirmed that any discussions around taking rec leave prior to 30 days “are not formal directions”.

This means it will always remain your choice of whether to take leave if your balance is below 30 days. It is not your manager or supervisor’s choice.

If you need PSA intervention, please contact your workplace delegate or PSA industrial officers directly.

PSA industrial officers

Matthew Drake-Brockman (all matter within DFSI except Regulation)
mdrake-brockman@psa.asn.au

Shane Howes (Regulation matters only)
showes@psa.asn.au

DFSI Christmas closedown bulletin

Nov 23, 2017

DFSI Christmas closedown bulletin – November 2017 (PDF version)

DFSI has issued a memo titled ‘DFSI Christmas closedown’ to staff.

A link to the DFSI memo is HERE.

Paragraph six states DFSI will require employees to take 10 consecutive days of recreation leave where it has identified that an employee has accrued a recreation leave balance of 30 days or more.

DFSI management has determined for staff at or above 30 days that the Christmas Closedown period is a convenient time for them to direct employees to take the two weeks’ recreation leave.

The wording itself does not take into account individual circumstances where it should. Past discussions between the PSA and management agree that individual circumstances should be properly considered.

The PSA stresses that if you have 30 days or above of rec leave, and where you have a genuine reason to take your required 10 days leave at a later time not during the Christmas closedown, then please approach line manager and negotiate for whatever two-week period is mutually beneficial to both parties in the individual circumstances.

The relevant Award clause is here: (The Crown Conditions Award states: 77.2.3 The Department Head shall notify the staff member in writing when accrued recreation leave reaches 6 weeks or its hourly equivalent and at the same time may direct a staff member to take at least 2 weeks recreation leave within 3 months of the notification at a time convenient to the Department.)

Similarly, staff (including non-frontline workers) seeking to work during the closedown period should liaise with their line manager to discuss the matter. Their line manager should then make every effort to find suitable alternative work during this period. The PSA believes this process should be transparent.

Additionally, the PSA wants to hear from any member refused deferring of leave until after the Christmas shutdown or ability to work over the shutdown period where there are genuine reasons to do so.

PSA industrial officers

Matthew Drake-Brockman (all matters within DFSI except Regulation)
mdrake-brockman@psa.asn.au

Shane Howes (Regulation matters only)
showes@psa.asn.au

Inequity of KPIs

Nov 23, 2017

Inequity of KPIs – November 2017 (PDF version)

At the recent Joint Consultative Committee meeting with management, your union, the PSA (CPSU), raised concerns around KPI measures. Many of the issues around KPIs are unique to document registration.

The current reporting systems are unsophisticated and do not allow variance for degree of difficulty of work or hours worked.

Staff should be raising this issue both verbally and in writing with their team leader. They should be listing that the reporting systems do not accurately portray the amount of productive work they have done. One suggested way of doing this is to create a paper trail as evidence you have had a productive day, in spite of the fact that the number of dealings did not meet expected targets.

The PSA understands there is currently a pilot and review of work processes being carried out by ARI consultants within DRS. During this process staff should be bringing to the attention of the consultants that there is a difference in the processing of complex work. They should advise of any and all factors impacting on achieving targets. Hopefully the results of their work yields a fairer and sophisticated method of data collection.

Procedural fairness

The PSA will write to management requesting it advises us of the results of the review, and to engage with us prior to any implementation.

The PSA also will ensure procedural fairness for those staff who are being portrayed as under performers due to the lack of sophistication in the reporting systems.

Your PSA delegates

Lynette Severino
Lynette.Severino@nswlrs.com.au

Rachel Tribe
Rachel.Tribe@nswlrs.com.au

Matthew Brooks
Matthew.Brooks@nswlrs.com.au

Phyllis Schinella
Phyllis.Schinella@nswlrs.com.au

Sharon Achmad
Sharon.Achmad@nswlrs.com.au

Government and Corporate Services Procurement restructure – PSA action in the Industrial Relations Commission

Sep 28, 2017

Government and Corporate Services Procurement restructure – PSA action in the Industrial Relations Commission – September 2017 (PDF version)

Thank you to all Procurement and Workplace staff who filled out the PSA survey relating to various aspects of the roll-out of the Procurement restructure.

The survey results reveal what was already apparent to the union – that work health and safety issues associated with relocation of roles to Parramatta were not the subject of consultation, much less, addressed in accordance with provisions of the WHS Act.

These issues remained unresolved so the PSA notified the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) of an industrial dispute. We had the matter listed for compulsory conference on 15 September and appeared in front of IRC Commissioner Seymour.

FWHA

At the compulsory conference, the PSA submitted its opposition to and rejection of the hours of work being set down in the new Role Descriptions, as it restricts the bandwidth hours set out in the Flexible Working Hours Agreement 2016 (FWHA) and attempts to circumvent the principles of flexibility found in the FWHA.

The bandwidth hours currently available under the FWHA are 7.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday.

The PSA argued that there was no plausible reason for changing the arrangements that currently operate throughout the organisation that have been managed successfully by supervising staff for many years. We argued the need for DFSI to provide the PSA with the business justification for any such changes to allow the union to provide a full and proper response. Without this information, members are effectively being denied the right to natural justice.

DFSI responded by stating that the FWHA allows them to make changes to the bandwidth.

Commissioner Seymour made the point that consultation is not simply the provision of information, it is about considering responses and being open to changing your position.

Essentially this unfortunately went nowhere.

Relocation of staff: WHS issues

The PSA argued that the Department’s failure to carry out a risk assessment constituted a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Further, its failure to consult with workers directly with matters which “may affect” their work health and safety amounts to a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

We argued that consultation, prior to the announcement of the restructure would have highlighted the risks to the psychosocial health and welfare of staff, and provided a management strategy.

We used the survey results to demonstrate our point.

Where are we now

The PSA would like to hear from members who have been adversely affected by the RMP. Please contact the PSA at WHS@psa.asn.au or call Ian Tuit on 0402 057 418.

Recommendations made by the Commissioner

  • DFSI to provide a document to the PSA by Friday 29 September that shows how it manages WHS risks arising from an RMP
  • PSA to respond, showing why we view the DFSI document as being inadequate, or inconsistent, and show how it ought to be improved to meet legislative requirements
  • a meeting to take place between the PSA and DFSI and any affected members who still continue to have concerns in relation to the restructure
  • report back to the IRC on Tuesday 17 October.
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