Henry Deane Building – Lunch n’ Learn Mental Health (Prevention and Resilience)

Nov 14, 2017

Henry Deane Building – Lunch n’ Learn Mental Health (Prevention and Resilience) – November 2017 (PDF version)

Monday 20 November

12.30-1.30pm

Rooms 4 & 5, Level 1

The PSA is hosting a Lunch n’ Learn for members at Henry Deane Building.

Presented by PSA WHS Officer, Suzanne Mann, the session provides information, strategies and resources to build personal resilience and enhance mental health awareness. It also provides participants with strategies to identify and support colleagues with mental health issues and encourage them to seek professional help.

The event will be catered with sandwiches and biscuits, but attendees can bring their own lunch.

Please RSVP to PSA Organisers:

Numbers will be limited to a max of 20 members so please respond soon to reserve your spot.

United we bargain, divided we beg – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!

Sheriff’s Officers survey

Nov 9, 2017

Sheriff’s Officers survey – November 2017 (PDF version)

At conciliation on Monday 6 November in relation to the Sheriff’s Uniform Directive of 6 June 2017, Chief Commissioner Kite advised he will consider whether that dispute is discontinued at the hearing of our summons to produce on 17 November.

The Sheriff of NSW, Ms Hall stated the dispute should be discontinued because SOVBAG said in previous conciliations We Welcome it [referring to the direction].

Ms Hall then said based on that statement, there is no issue with the directive therefore the summons for them to produce documents around that directive should be struck out.

We have to show Chief Commissioner Kite whether Sheriff’s Officers accept or do not accept the directive.

This link HERE is to a survey for Sheriff’s Officers to respond to 3 questions with Yes or No and a short comment. We need your response by Monday 13 November.

What can you do?

  • Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues
  • Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board
  • Ask a colleague to join the PSA
  • Get involved as your Area Contact
  • Not a member JOIN online

Your PSA SOVBAG Delegates

Eddie Lia – Campbelltown Court

Daniel De La Paz – Penrith Court

Stephen Hancock – Burwood Court

Tony Morawsky – Mt Druitt

Andrew Pierce – Parramatta

Glen Elliot-Rudder – Wagga Wagga

Jason Woollett – Liverpool Court

Parramatta Justice Precinct – Lunch n’ Learn Dealing with Bullying in the Workplace

Nov 6, 2017

Parramatta Justice Precinct – Lunch n’ Learn – Dealing with Bullying in the Workplace – November 2017 (PDF version)

Tuesday 14 November

12pm-1pm

Room 401 and 402

The PSA is hosting a Lunch n’ Learn for members at Parramatta Justice Precinct.

Presented by PSA Educator John Sandow, the session will provide information, strategies and resources to assist workers in dealing with bullying and harassment at work. It will cover:

  • What is bullying?
  • What can we do about it, especially from the particular perspective we share as union members?
  • How can we overcome any obstacles we might encounter when attempting to counter bullying?

12pm – 12:30pm will be the presentation

12:30pm – 1pm will be questions and discussion

Members can attend either session, if they are unable to take an hour for lunch. Non-members are welcome.

The event will be catered with sandwiches and biscuits, but attendees can bring their own lunch.

Please RSVP to PSA Organisers:

Surabi Alauddin (salauddin@psa.asn.au)

Roland Harris (rharris@psa.asn.au)

Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 25 members, so please respond as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

United we bargain, divided we beg – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!

NSW Crime Commission Award negotiations update and FAQ bulletin

Oct 31, 2017

NSW Crime Commission Award negotiations update and FAQ bulletin – October 2017 (PDF version)

Since our most recent bulletin, PSA Industrial staff attended the NSW Crime Commission (NSWCC) on a number of occasions. Firstly to outline the PSA proposal for a NSWCC Crown Employees Conditions Award and listen to feedback from members and staff, and more recently holding individual and small group Q&As with PSA industrial staff on a variety of issues, ranging from individual questions, collective issues, the proposed award and PSA value-added services.

Meeting with NSWCC management

PSA representatives, Manager Industrial Justice, Evan Cole and Industrial Officer Justice, Sharon Richards, with NSWCC PSA member Louise Douglas-Major, met with management for an initial award discussion.

Both the PSA and NSWCC management gave their support to enter into award negations. The PSA wrote to NSWCC on 13 October 2017 and formal response to the PSA from NSWCC has recently been received from the Commissioner. This exchange of correspondence now enables the parties to commence formal negotiations. These formal negotiations can only take place once the PSA has consulted with its members and provided NSWCC with its log of claims (wish list). The stages of the process can be found on the PSA’s document, Making a new award within the NSW Industrial Relations System and a diagram depicting the award-making process found HERE.

For initial award discussion both the PSA and management gave their support to enter into Award negations. Since then representatives also discussed the establishment of a NSWCC (JCC) Joint Consultative Committee.

JCCs are underpinned by Premier’s Department Consultative Arrangements, policy and guidelines 1997 which can be read HERE. JCCs are commonplace and are held across all Public Service/Sector Clusters under PSA coverage. The purpose of the JCC is to bring about fair and cooperative relations at the organisational level between unions and the employer to consult, communicate and share information and seek resolution of industrial issues such as:

  • Overarching Public Sector Issues
  • Consultation and Organisational Change
  • Policy and Producers
  • Work Health Safety (WHS) among others.

JCCs are attended by PSA Industrial staff, elected PSA delegates on behalf of members and senior management representative. Agenda items are provided by both the union and the employer.

Lastly, PSA representatives sought advice from NSWCC management regarding members’ employment agreements and issues around their confidentially.

Member confidentiality and employments agreements

Below is advice provided to the PSA by the NSWCC:

‘The Commission as the employer is supportive of and encourage staff being able to discuss with the PSA, as an approved body, their current salaries and conditions of employment and should feel free to do so as appropriate.’

Additionally, the NSWCC provided to the PSA its secrecy and the use of ‘Official Information’, fact sheets referring to section 80 of the NSWCC Act. NSWCC representatives also stated that members’ discussions with their union would not be restricted by section 80.

Members are advised all discussions with the union, individually or part of a meeting, are strictly confidential. The PSA remains concerned with its members’ employment conditions purely from industrial standpoint in accordance with the relevant industrial instruments.

The PSA is not directly concerned with an individual’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities and salaries. Only the broad issue of salaries and conditions aligning with the Crown Employees Award and the State Government’s common salary points will be part of the negotiations. An individual’s salary will not be reduced as part of moving to an award.

NSWCC Award FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are combined from the NSWCC Seminar attended by PSA, individual meetings held at the NSWCC and PSA NSWCC Award FAQ via the PSA Member Support Centre (MSC).

Q1: What is an award?

A: An award is a legally enforceable industrial instrument “made”, in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSWIRC). It contains the minimum terms and conditions of employment for workers covered by the instrument. An award cannot be made without the involvement of the union (or unions) with a right to cover those workers. Awards are commonly found in the NSW Public Service and Public Sector.

Q2: Why do we need an award?

A: Awards create an EQUAL playing field for all and are the most effective way of protecting our members’ conditions of employment. The necessary involvement of the PSA in the award-making process means the collective power of the PSA is brought to the negotiation table. Having an award ensures the NSWCC is included in the PSA’s application for salary increases. Where an award condition is breached, the PSA can seek redress in the NSWIRC.

Q3: How long will the award last?

A: Awards can be made for up to three years and are regularly reviewed, in accordance with the Industrial Relations (IR) Act 1996. These reviews rarely change significant entitlements or conditions of awards.

Q4: Why ‘The Crown’ Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009?

A: ‘The Crown’ as we commonly call it, is the PSA’s principal award and the parent to another 100 Crown Awards within the Public Service under PSA coverage. A number of these awards are within the Justice Cluster, reflecting the specific conditions of these various agencies such as Juvenile Justice, Crown Solicitors and Emergency Services. It makes sense to bring the NSWCC under the same umbrella as these.

Q5: How long does the award-making process take from start to finish?

A: We estimate that this will take between six and 12 months

Q6: Will I be consulted as part of this process?

A: Yes. All PSA members will be consulted as part of the award-making process. Members are involved all along the way, firstly, in the development of the log of claims (wish list) and, secondly, at the time of the final vote. Members will be regularly updated about progress throughout the negotiations, and feedback is invited. Note that although the award will cover all workers, only union members are involved in consultation, negotiation and the final vote.

Q7: Will conditions unique to the NSWCC be preserved?

A: If members nominate specific conditions they wish preserved, these will be included in the log of claims served on the NSWCC. This is why it is important to be a union member and have your say.

Q8: What are the Salary Points in the public sector?

A: Crown Employees (Public Sector – Salaries 2016) Award SCHEDULE B ‘COMMON SALARY POINTS’ (CSP) (ii) is a table that applies to classifications contained in the Salaries Award. Where CSP have been identified these are noted in numbers next to the salary rate. For example as at the latest salary increase an employee at CSP One receives $24,457 up to CSP 130 – $137,557

Q9: Does an award affect everyone employed at the NSWCC?

A: Once voted on, all staff (other than those in the Senior Executive bands) will be covered by the new award in accordance with the NSW IR Act (1996).

Q10: Will all contracts be replaced by an award?

A: Yes, but only after members have voted to accept the award and it is made in the IRC. Until then the status quo regarding members’ employment conditions will remain.

Q11: Will the PSA go ahead and enter negotiations for an award if the membership doesn’t increase?

A: Membership has already increased significantly at NSWCC and is steadily continuing to do so.

Q12: How does Flexi-time work in the public sector

A: Flexi-time is a scheme which enables employees (subject to operational requirements) to select their starting and finishing time within a broad range of hours. It works on a time-based credit and debit system. For example, a worker is permitted to be in credit or debit within limits, and can take a flex day where the flex balance and operational requirements allow. The scheme’s intention is to allow greater flexibility to deal with workloads, deadlines and work-life balance. Systems need to be put in place to prevent any forfeiture of accumulated hours.

Q13: How does the award become legally binding?

A: As part of the democratic processes that exist within your union, PSA members have a vote whether to accept or decline the proposed award. The award comes into effect when it is ‘made’ by the NSW IRC

Q14: Will non-PSA members have a say in the award negotiations?

A: No. Unions and employers are the only parties recognised by the NSW Industrial Relations Act 1996 in making awards. This is why we encourage people to become members and have their say.

Q15: Who will negotiate the award?

A: As part of the PSA process, NSWCC members will be asked to nominate and vote on their own representatives who will be part of the PSA negotiation team, along with PSA staff. Participating members will receive training in the process and in negotiation skills.

Contact the PSA MSC

Email us at the PSA: membersupport@psa.asn.au
Subject: NSWCC Award FAQ
Quote call number ‘95913’

Should members wish to contact the PSA on any other matters that can simply contact the MSC direct 1300 772 679.

Additional Information

  • Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 – Read HERE.
  • Crown Employees (Pubic Sector – Salaries 2017) Award – Read HERE.

What’s next?

1 November 2017 – NSWCC Members are invited to PSA House, 160 Clarence St, Sydney, 2000, for an additional opportunity to meet and ask a variety of questions of PSA staff relating to the award, other workplace issues and benefits of PSA membership.

If you would like to book a particular time, please contact your Organiser Surabi Alauddin salauddin@psa.asn.au.

LUNCH ‘N’ LEARN

TBC November 2017 – PSA LUNCH ‘N’ LEARN (date to be confirmed), lunch provided

A comparison document of NSWCC Staff Ongoing Employment Agreement and the PSA preferred Award, Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 will be provided to members in due course.

Join the PSA

Increase the negotiating power of the PSA by joining the PSA online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/register.

What can you do?

Give a copy of the bulletin to your colleagues

Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board

Ask colleagues to join the PSA.

Get involved as your area contact.

Attend the next PSA meeting.

Sheriff Operations Centre (SOC) bulletin

Oct 31, 2017

Sheriff Operations Centre (SOC) bulletin – October 2017 (PDF version)

PSA members at the Sheriff’s Operation Centre (SOC) contacted the PSA concerned the Department had unilaterally changed their long-standing roster of 20 years without going through the proper consultation process.

Members were also concerned about the directive, as their rostered day off was removed and their lunch period was changed. Further, the Department did not provide any alternative rosters or options for members to look over and provide feedback on before this change.

The Department initially had a meeting with staff, giving an undertaking they would be consulted and this was only the beginning of the process. Further, the PSA wrote to the Department after the meeting noting consultation is with the PSA as the representative of the members and it was inappropriate to circumvent the PSA. The issue was also raised at the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) on 15 September 2017 where the PSA asked for an update on the consultation process.

Having been given the undertaken and the assurances that consultation would occur, members were surprised that a directive by email on 16 October 2017 changed their hours to seven hours a day, one hour for lunch and not able to have a monthly RDO. The email also referred to the consultation process ending.

The PSA wrote to the Department asking that it cease and desist and that the status quo remain until consultation has occurred. The PSA has also noted that failure to do so could see a trip to the Industrial Relations Commission.

The PSA, SOC members and a SOVBAG delegate met with the Sheriff Office on 25 October 2017. We put forward that SOC staff want to remain Sheriff’s Officers and that they work seven hours, 36 minutes, with a 30-minute lunch break per day to obtain a monthly RDO and these conditions be formalised into a local arrangement. The Sheriff Office advised it would seek advice and contact us in 12 hours. That period was mutually extended and the PSA was advised by telephone at 4:30pm on Friday, 27 October that the 16 October email would be implemented without delay, and SOC Sheriffs who want a monthly RDO can request a transfer to operational Sheriff’s duties.

The unwillingness of the Sheriff Office to enter into meaningful negotiations has given the PSA no option than to file a dispute at the Industrial Relations Commission. We will provide members with short updates as further information comes to hand.

If you are a non-member and have concerns around this or other issues we encourage:

What can you do?

  • Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues
  • Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board
  • Ask a colleague to join the PSA
  • Get involved as your Area Contact

Your PSA SOVBAG Delegates:

Eddie Lia – Campbelltown Court

Daniel De La Paz – Penrith Court

Stephen Hancock – Burwood Court

Tony Morawsky – Mt Druitt

Andrew Pierce – Parramatta

Glen Elliot-Rudder – Wagga Wagga

Jason Woollett – Liverpool Court

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW Report back on 27 September 2017 Joint Consultative Committee meeting

Oct 31, 2017

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW report back on 27 September 2017 Joint Consultative Committee meeting – October 2017 (PDF version)

Your PSA Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions NSW (ODDP) delegates and industrial staff met with ODPP Management on 27 September 2017 to discuss collective member issues at the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting. The following issues were discussed:

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) reforms

ODPP gave an update on the organisation’s approach to the Early Guilty Plea Reforms. ODPP indicated it had:

  • set up an intranet page that contained extensive information for staff
  • engaged contractors to work on the change process (they reside on level 30)
  • engaged staff via a roadshow
  • indicated via the roadshow there would be no redundancies.

ODPP noted that while the legislation is not due to be passed by Parliament until 23 November, it is in the process of preparing for the changes and is aiming to develop a structure for the organisation.

PSA members also noted ODPP had sent out a survey seeking feedback about what ODPP could look like in the future pending the organisational restructure. A major concern for members was the questions in the survey about privatising parts of ODPP. Members found this problematic as there was no context to the questions or rationale for why privatisation was even been contemplated.

ODPP indicated the survey was aimed at getting views from staff about what the organisation could look like in terms of practice sizes and less about revisitations. While any discussion of privatisation is concerning, ODPP noted that at this stage there is no plan to privatise any part of the organisation.

EAGP – consultation process

The PSA contends that the Consultative Arrangement Policy Guidelines 1997 apply and ODPP should be consulting with the PSA as well as staff. Up until this meeting the ODPP had not provided any timelines or documentation regarding the changes. ODPP subsequently provided its EAGP Milestones that it posted on its intranet after the issue was raised during the JCC.

Your union will continue to pursue members’ interests regarding the impending changes and seek your input as the process develops.

Workload

PSA members at a number of Metropolitan and Regional Offices have continued to raise concerns about the number of cases they are handling, the extensive hours they are working and the forfeiture of flex hours.

  • ODPP reiterated the need for staff to raise their workload with local managers
  • There needs to be a system to record hours staff work on weekends on their laptops. As a result of the PSA raising this ODPP has agreed to look into this.

Your union also raised the issue of high workload and long hours as a Work Health and Safety concern. ODPP noted it has put on more staff to help alleviate the problem but there were still vacancies to fill.

There is also a Workload Management Strategy being developed as part of the EAGP change process which may in part resolve the issue. However, the PSA will seek feedback via Survey Monkey from members to present to ODPP.

Temporary staff

PSA members have raised issues regarding their temporary employment status. Of primary concern is being employed on consecutive temporary contracts rather than being offered ongoing employment. Also of concern was the lack of confirmation of continuing employment/extension of contract. Often staff are being told AFTER the expiration of their contact that it will be extended. This leads to uncertainty and unnecessary stress for the affected staff members.

Your union raised this issue and also explored if the EAGP funding could be used to convert temporary staff to ongoing roles and whether it will give ODPP the ability to offer longer temporary contracts while the funding is available.

ODPP noted that it had to budget each year and in 2016 had converted a number of temporary roles to ongoing. While there was no commitment to covert staff to ongoing roles at this stage ODPP noted that it will look into this as part of staff retention. ODPP is aware staff have left for other organisations due to the temporary nature of their employment.

Work Health and Safety

ODPP advised that it had developed a Wellbeing program. Your union noted the importance of Mental Health in the workplace, which is of concern at ODPP due to the nature of the work exposing members to vicarious trauma and the high workloads.

In recognition of the importance of Mental Health, the PSA has developed training for members. The Safer Together: Care and Resilience course provides information, strategies and resources to build personal resilience and enhance mental health awareness.

It also provides participants with strategies to identify and support a colleague/s with mental health issues and encourage them to seek professional help.

If you would like more information on the course or interested in attending you can go to the PSA website http://psa.asn.au/training/general-training-courses/ or contact bmckenzie@psa.asn.au.

Cases review update

ODPP gave an update on the CASES software review. It is seeking a vendor and will hold further workshops with smaller groups as part of the selection process. Consultation with ODPP staff and the chosen vendor will occur.

ODPP PSA member involvement in your union

Your union encourages PSA members from all vocations at ODPP whether it be Administration, Legal or Policy to get involved. To be more involved in your union, or you want more information on what being a delegate is or what a contact person entails, please contact PSA.

Next JCC date

The next JCC is Wednesday, 29 November 2017 and is the last JCC for 2017.

Your PSA industrial staff:

Andrew Boulton – Industrial Officer

Bart McKenzie – Senior Organiser

What can you do?

  • Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues
  • Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board
  • Ask a colleague to join the PSA
  • Get involved as your Area Contact
  • Get involved by being on the ODPP DC
  • Attend a meeting at your worksite.
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