Corrections Day – Friday 19 January 2018

Jan 19, 2018

Corrections Day – Friday 19 January 2018 (PDF version)

Today marks Corrections Day, when we celebrate the work of the people entrusted to run the NSW Corrections system.

The men and women working with Corrective Services protect the public and work to put people in the system back on the right path.

The PSA’s ranks includes prison officers, commissioned officers, administrative staff, managers, drivers, counsellors, community corrections staff, overseers, farmers, psychologists, security and intel staff, court escorts, services and programs officers, as well as staff at Brush Farm, the Henry Deane building and regional offices.

This enormously diverse team of skilled and dedicated individuals are responsible for the security of more than 13,000 people, including some of the most hardened offenders in the state.

A state-run Correctional system works best to protect the people of NSW and rehabilitate inmates.

In the past 12 months, a bid from the public sector kept John Morony in public hands, while the nearby privatised facility at Parklea is to be scrutinised by a parliamentary committee.

I would like to congratulate each and every member in every part of Corrective Services for their expertise, dedication and professionalism.

I am proud to lead your union as we fight for your safety and well-being, as well as the type of workers’ compensation coverage you deserve.

Stewart Little
PSA General Secretary

Frank Baxter Work Place Group AGM

Jan 11, 2018

Frank Baxter Work Place Group AGM – January 2018 (PDF version)

Official notice was given on 17 October 2017 for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Frank Baxter Workplace Group to be held on Thursday 23 November 2017.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the AGM had to be postponed and the rescheduled AGM will now be held at:

1:30pm-2:30pm

25 January 2018

Training Room, Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre

General Secretary Stewart Little will also be attending.

All positions are up for election, please see attached form HERE.

To nominate yourself to be a workplace delegate and have a voice for your workplace, please complete the attached nomination form HERE and send to PSA returning officer, Gino DiCandilo at gdicandilo@psa.asn.au by 5pm Monday 22 January 2018.

Nominations will also be accepted from the floor, either by nominating oneself or another member. Elected delegates will be provided with training and support from PSA staff.

Please update your details on the link HERE to ensure that you are eligible to vote or if not a member sign up so that you can have your say.

Direction to PSA members at the Crown Solicitors Office: Industrial action to end at 5pm Friday 22 December 2017

Dec 22, 2017

Direction to PSA members at the Crown Solicitors Office – Industrial action to end at 5pm Friday 22 December 2017 (PDF version)

Following the decision of a meeting of members at the Crown Solicitors Office on 21 December, the PSA Executive directs members working at the Crown Solicitors Office to cease all industrial action from close of business (5pm) on Friday 22 December 2017.

Members reluctantly voted to accept the recommendation of the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to cease their industrial action around the open plan proposal.

Members should take all steps to ensure that paper forms recording billable hours are available to be input after the first day back from the holiday closedown.

This means that if a member is not going to be back on that day, they must give their forms to a colleague who will be back to input on their behalf.

At a second dispute hearing at the IRC on 20 December 2017, Commissioner Newall maintained that the IRC does not have the jurisdiction to direct management to consult on the open-plan itself, that the industrial action be lifted, but that consultation is to continue.

Although Crown Solicitors management has not agreed to consult on the open plan proposal, the action has already been a success.

The majority of members participated in the industrial action, sending an unequivocal message rejecting management’s approach of ramming through open plan without listening to the serious objections raised by staff.

Members at the meeting discussed the next stage of our campaign, including returning to the Industrial Relations Commission, lobbying politicians, approaching the Department of Justice, circulating an employee survey, increasing the visibility of opposition through stickers, posters and badges and many more ideas.

The fight is by no means over.

The union is now in a stronger position as a result of this impressive demonstration of solidarity and determination by you, the members.

Your PSA delegates are:

Leigh Plater – Senior Solicitor (x 85377)
leigh.plater@cso.nsw.gov.au

Teri Southwell – Legal & Financial Administration Officer (x 85410)
teri.southwell@cso.nsw.gov.au

Your PSA staff are:

Surabi Alauddin – PSA Organiser
salauddin@psa.asn.au

Andrew Boulton – PSA Industrial Officer
aboulton@psa.asn.au

Andrew Wright – PSA Industrial Officer
awright@psa.asn.au

The PSA is your voice in the workplace. Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/Register

Crown Solicitor’s Office Urgent PSA Paid Time meeting: Open Plan Dispute

Dec 21, 2017

Crown Solicitor’s Office Urgent PSA Paid Time meeting – Open Plan Dispute – December 2017 (PDF version)

Thursday, 21 December 2017

3pm – 4pm

Big Training Room, Level 5

An urgent members’ meeting will be held today to discuss the industrial action and to report-back about the IRC hearing yesterday.

CSO management has agreed to allow this PSA meeting to be held on paid work time.

All members are strongly encouraged to attend.

The PSA is your voice in the workplace. Not a member? Sign up today online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/Register

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

Justice Flexible Work Hours Agreement update

Dec 20, 2017

Justice Flexible Work Hours Agreement update – Decemeber 2017 (PDF version)

On the 27 November the PSA undertook a survey of members within the Department of Justice in relation to the new Flexible Work Hours Agreement (FWHA).

View the Agreement HERE.

The Department of Justice wrote to the PSA on the 9 October 2015 giving 12 months’ notice in which it was proceeding to terminate all current flexible working hours agreements.

The PSA formed a working party which consisted of delegates representations across the 11 agencies under the Department of Justice.

After some two years of negotiations the PSA was finally able to put the Flexible Working Hours Agreement to the membership to vote upon.

The vote concluded on the 8 December 2017 with members voting in favour of the new agreement. See the results HERE.

The Department have advised the PSA that the new FWHA won’t be initiated till 30 June 2018 as there are still some technical issues they are working on.

This means that the status quo remains and all current FWHA’s will operate as normal till further notice.

Below are some of the features that the new agreement contains:

  • 12-week settlement period
  • 42 hours Credit
  • 14 hours Debit
  • 6 flex days per settlement period (12 weeks)
  • Ability to take consecutive Flex days
  • Full, ½ and ¼ day Flex days
  • Up to 2.5 hours lunchbreak with approval
  • Defined emergency response and recovery operations
  • Easter flex leave arrangements as provided in the Award – ½ day flex
  • Bandwidth – 6.30am-9pm
  • Core time – 10am-3pm
  • Non-standard hours can only be entered into by way of written agreement between the employee and manager
  • Local arrangements will continue to be observed
  • Reports will be provided to the Justice Peak JCC on working time and use of flex time
  • Gender, carer’s responsibility and WHS impact assessment to be conducted prior to implementation and the terms of reference will be proposed by the PSA
  • Agreed transitional arrangements to prevent employees from forfeiting hours.

We encourage members to update their details online as some members have moved but have not updated their information.

You can update your details by going to: https://membership.psa.asn.au/.

We also encourage non-members to join up so they can have a say in their workplace and their conditions. Join the PSA online HERE.

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.
  • Attend a meeting at your worksite.
  • And remember – United we bargain, divided we beg!

Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open Plan Proposal – Direction to take Industrial Action

Dec 19, 2017

Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open Plan Proposal – Direction to take Industrial Action – December 2017 (PDF version)

As members are aware, your union has directed members to take the following industrial action, in opposition to the open-plan proposal, commencing 8am, 18 December 2017:

  • Solicitors and other fee earners (who are PSA members): Not record billable and administrative time in Open Practice. They are to keep written records of billable and administrative time for work-related matters and withhold these records from being entered in Open Practice.
  • Administrative staff (who are PSA members): not to enter recorded time in Open Practice for solicitors or other fee earners who are participating in the industrial action.

Temporary staff are exempt for this direction.

Why are we taking industrial action?

PSA members have expressed strong opposition to the open-plan workplace fit-out. Concerns range from reduced productivity, confidentiality, noise, privacy, problems with file use and storage, WHS concerns, professional legal privilege, lower morale and lack of consultation with staff about opposition to open plan.

In October, the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relation Commission (IRC) against the CSO’s open-plan proposal. The IRC directed the CSO to consult with the PSA on ‘industrial matters’ but stated that the Commission has no jurisdiction to order consultation on the Government’s accommodation policy, which prescribes open-plan offices.

Since then, your PSA staff and delegates have met numerous times with CSO management to engage in genuine consultation and to reach an acceptable compromise for example, proposing that smaller offices could be accommodated for some or all solicitors on six floors. Management has flatly refused to consult on the open-plan itself.

The PSA has advised members that the only viable option left in fighting the open-plan is collective industrial action. At a well-attended PSA meeting on Friday 15 December, members voted in favour of taking industrial action.

Members are strongly advised to take part in the industrial action. The more members that participate the higher our negotiation power becomes. All members taking industrial action should be applauded for standing up for your workplace rights, conditions and the integrity of the CSO.

The Crown Solicitors Office is the largest and oldest (200 years old) provider of legal services to the NSW Government. Staff members are entitled to work in an office that is conducive to a productive, healthy and happy workplace where professional obligations can be fulfilled.

PSA Members are protected when taking industrial action:

  • Only union members are protected when taking industrial action from action taken by the CSO. Speak to your colleagues about joining the union today to make sure they are protected.

Support from your fellow PSA members at Legal Aid:

Unlike CSO management, Legal Aid management agreed with its staff and relented providing solicitors with offices following the joint Legal Aid/Crown Solicitors Office PSA Open-Plan dispute in the IRC.

The following motion was passed unanimously at a recent meeting of PSA Legal Aid Delegates:

The PSA Legal Aid Departmental Committee expresses solidarity with our colleagues at the Crown Solicitors Office in respect to their resistance to open plan and requests the PSA make every effort to support them in their current dispute.

Response if questioned by management about industrial action:

Solicitors

I am directed by my union to not record time in Open Practice. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact the PSA on 1300 772 679.

Administrative

I am directed by my union to not input time in Open Practice for solicitors participating in the industrial action. If you wish to discuss this, please contact the PSA on 1300 772 679.

If you are victimised because of the industrial action, please contact:

PSA Organiser Surabi Alauddin on 0438 362 914 (salauddin@psa.asn.au)

or PSA industrial Officers, Andrew Boulton (aboulton@psa.asn.au), Andrew Wright (andrew.wright@psa.asn.au).

Your PSA Delegates are:

Leigh Plater – Senior Solicitor (x 85377)
leigh.plater@cso.nsw.gov.au

Teri Southwell – Legal & Financial Administration Officer (x 85410),
teri.southwell@cso.nsw.gov.au

The PSA is your voice in the workplace. Not a member? Sign up today online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/Register

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