ICARE Award balloting of staff

Jun 29, 2017

ICARE Award balloting of staff – June 2017 (PDF version)

Dear members,

You would be aware that the PSA and ICARE have entertained a process to create an ICARE-specific, state-based Award as a consequence of the assented NSW Insurance & Care Act 2015.

Since 2015, the PSA and ICARE agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that provided a commitment to staff that conditions would not change until such time as a new instrument (the Award) was negotiated to take the place of the current state based Awards.

After numerous discussions and negotiations between ICARE and the PSA representatives and delegates committee, the PSA now has an in-principle agreement for the ICARE Award.

For a complete version of this proposed Award Click HERE.

As part of the democratic processes that exist within your union, PSA members have a vote whether to accept or decline the proposed agreement. It is important to note non-members have no say in the Award-acceptance processes.

The PSA endorses this agreement because:

  1. it enshrines your current conditions in a concise document;
  2. it provides for a line of sight to the Crown Employees (Public Sector – Conditions of Employment) Award and Crown Employees (Public Sector Salaries) Award, in that if changes are made to either of these Awards, there is provision for those changes to flow to the ICARE Award;
  3. it is consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the PSA in 2015, whereby the conditions of employment are not diminished by the creation of this Award.

The ballot is to take place via Survey Monkey and all responses are to remain confidential.

Click HERE to enter the survey.

The PSA encourages all members to take the two minutes to vote in this ballot.

DFSI PSA action opposing forced relocations

Jun 26, 2017

DFSI PSA action opposing forced relocations – June 2017 (PDF version)

Maitland and Newcastle members will be aware of the recent media interest that has been generated in the Hunter press in relation to the impact that the forced relocation of 39 Office of State Revenue, Fees & Fines roles to Gosford will have on the local Maitland economy.

See NBN and Newcastle Herald articles HERE and HERE.

The PSA is in communication with the office of Maitland state MP Jenny Aitchison. We will continue to share information with her office and coordinate around further actions that can be taken to stand up for the residents of Maitland, their families and the local economy.

The PSA will also be approaching Shadow Finance Minister Clayton Barr MP, and local Newcastle representatives in the coming days about how we might collaborate.

Gosford relocations CC

PSA staff and your delegates met with OSR Director Stephen Brady and other management representatives on Monday 19 June to discuss various updates on the relocation to Gosford, and also to push our position that we are opposed to any forced relocation of any staff from Parramatta (OSR or Fair Trading Contact Centre), Maitland or Newcastle, to Gosford.

We want Stephen Brady to explore other options with the union.

Option 1

On 6 June DFSI Secretary Martin Hoffman announced the Department would embrace flexible work options, and invited DFSI staff to register an expression of interest (EOI) if they wished to work in Gosford. The PSA put it to Stephen Brady that we want DFSI to relocate roles through this process and not by way of forced relocations of OSR and Fair Trading Contact Centre staff. Management was not closed to this idea, but was cautious in giving any false hope that this could occur. It would be dependent on the uptake and suitability of the EOIs. Management also confirmed this EOI is not limited to staff in Sydney but is open to anyone, anywhere. It agreed to issue further communications to verify this.

Option 2

In the alternative, other flexible work practices may be considered by the Department in certain circumstances. This may include commuting to the ‘home office’ in Gosford two or three days per week, and working from another location closer to your home on the other days, or indeed, working from home on a day or two, if possible.

We will provide a further update to members shortly.

Government and Corporate Services Procurement feedback

Jun 21, 2017

Government and Corporate Services Procurement feedback – June 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA met with Management on Wednesday 14 June to discuss its responses to the PSA’s feedback on the Procurement and Workplace RMP. This feedback can be accessed HERE.

Management confirmed it had made some changes in light of the extensive union feedback. However, when pressed on exact detail of the changes it was unable to disclose these. The final RMP is imminent and is with DFSI Secretary Mr Hoffman for sign off.

Mr Hoffman – flexible office location

Members will be aware Mr Hoffman made an announcement on Friday 2 June where he spoke about an opportunity to pilot some new flexible working practices for people living on the Central Coast and currently working in Sydney. EOIs are open for DFSI employees who may want to work at Gosford as their ‘home’ office.

This is a separate process entirely to the Procurement and Workplace restructure. The PSA received an assurance nothing will be allocated under the pilot program until the roles in the RMP have been filled and expressions of interest are received by those affected staff.

The PSA recommends interested members respond to the EOIs to work in Gosford if it suits their situation. The link in Mr Hoffman’s email takes you to a ‘Survey Monkey’ survey.

For those roles transferred to Parramatta, the PSA pressed Management with respect to the possibility of working a couple of days in Parramatta and three days at Gosford. Management will assess the viability of flexible working arrangements along the lines of this example, on an individual basis. The PSA will advocate for members seeking any such arrangements.

Hours of work

The draft RMP proposes in ‘item 10 – Hours of work’: in accordance with the DFSI Flexible Working Hours Agreement 2016, customer-facing roles may have fixed operational requirements due to office opening times and are required to work hours that will ensure maximum availability to our customers across two shifts: 7am-3pm and 10am- 6pm. Other roles working hours will be dependent on operational requirements.

There are two particular key issues to be further explored:

Fixed hours of work on a roster

For the fixed 7am-3pm or 10am-6pm shift, Management has assumed ALL 3/4 roles are customer-facing roles in the sense they are operational customer-facing roles, the likes of which you would find at reception.

The draft Service Catalogue in ‘Appendix A’ refers to maintenance of services between the hours of 8:30am to 5:30pm on business days. There is no reference in the Service Catalogue to other hours of business.

In ‘Appendix B’ Business Requirements, sets out that; only Workplace Services roles performing direct customer service functions will be assigned fixed hours of work on a roster to provide continuous onsite support services from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday except for public holidays in NSW. This will be achieved by operating two shifts during business days as follows:

  • 7:00am to 3:00pm
  • 10:00am to 6:00pm

We stated at the meeting it should be noted that operational team leads already organise their Grade 3/4 building staff to cover the stated hours of 7:00am to 6:00pm and we see absolutely no reason to require all other non-customer-facing 3/4 staff to operate these fixed-hour shifts/roster system, especially when in the main all hours are currently covered.

In the meeting Chief Procurement Officer Greg Grebert spoke about ensuring staff be present in office hours throughout the day. He continually gave the example of reception staffing. We argued we see no reason to change the arrangements that currently operate throughout the organisation and are managed successfully by supervising staff.

The PSA will be requesting further information as to the reason all 3/4 staff, even those NOT performing direct customer service functions are required to work on a fixed-hour shift/roster system. Once we have that further information we will decide on the reasonable course of union action

New fixed hours of work for all other grades

For the first time, we now see hours of work set down in all the Role Descriptions (RD). This represents a significant change to the roles, by seeking to alter bandwidth hours that are currently available from 7.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday.

The hours, set out in the RMP Role Descriptions, for all grades (other than Grade 3/4s who are expected to work fixed hour shifts regardless of whether they are a customer facing role or not) is NOT BEFORE 8:30am and NOT AFTER 5:30pm, less half-hour lunch.

This appears to reset core bandwidth hours by excluding all staff from working through the full bandwidth hours as set out in the ‘Flexible Working Hours Agreement 2016’ (FWHA) to accumulate hours, as is now the current practice.

At the meeting the PSA opposed and rejected the hours of work being set down in the RDs and further, the new imposition of restricting working hours that attempts to circumvent the principles of flexibility found in the FWHA.

Greg Grebert spoke about the need to be near customers, suppliers, Whole of Government agencies for NSW Procurement activities and the peak bodies.

The PSA will take action in the IRC if the final RMP contains these restrictions.

Lastly, on numerous occasions, we pressed for advice on further information on a number of areas of the RMP. These included the type of work in each of the work streams, the basis on which tasks had been analysed to determine work-loads, the rationale for the reduction of three key 7/8 roles, and the proposed considerations that have been included in the final RMP to be proposed. The PSA will await the final RMP to determine if these issues have been adequately addressed.

Recommendations arising from the meeting

  • If you submitted a question individually check through the responses to date and if your personal question has not been responded to you should contact Employee Relations Enquiries urgently at their email address ERenquiry@finance.nsw.gov.au.
  • Ensure you are registered on the flexible office pilot program. You should do this if you are working in any office as there are a range of ‘home’ offices provided for in this proposal.
  • Attend any programs that have been announced that will assist in preparing applications for roles.

Concern over transfer of 40 public service jobs from Maitland – NBN News

Jun 9, 2017

The PSA has gone to bat on NBN News for Office of State Revenue Staff who are being moved from Maitland to Gosford.

Maitland MP slams government decision to move jobs – The Newcastle Herald

Jun 8, 2017

The decision to move 40 Office of State Revenue jobs from Maitland to Gosford has been slammed by the PSA in the Newcastle Herald.

Read the full article HERE.

SIRA Motor Accidents Insurance Authority Bulletin

Jun 6, 2017

SIRA Motor Accidents Insurance Authority Bulletin – 6 June 2017 (PDF Version)

The PSA recently held a members meeting at SIRA Motor Accidents Insurance Authority, where we engaged members and identified one or two key issues that have been evolving in the workplace, and which now require union intervention.

We wrote to management on 31 May saying the PSA is aware, over the past couple of years, of the sustained growth of the number of matters being lodged with the SIRA MAIR without a commensurate increase or other adjustment in the resources to handle such an increase. We outlined the statistics bear out the fact that there has been a sustained increase in the caseload for some time. This is part of an ongoing trend that needs to be addressed now and into the future.

In our letter we wrote we are seeking:

  • regular consultation from management regarding the impact of the new scheme, as well as the transition from the current scheme to the new scheme, with consideration of staffing levels, training and development opportunities, and the appropriateness and timeliness of the recruitment process to put the right person in the right job in the right time
  • a commitment that the Project Team will be authorised to revisit the need for increased staff by way of reinstituting a study of the ideal case load of staff – and thereafter management will, as appropriate, re-arrange the allocation of current resources and arrange additional resources at the right levels to deal with the increasing workloads
  • the opportunity to meet with the appropriate decision-makers to begin a dialogue on how to resolve these issues.

We will update members soon with a view to holding another member meeting at 1 Oxford in July.

 

 

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