Service NSW – CSR driver tester rosters

Dec 7, 2017

Service NSW driver tester rosters update – December 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA and Service NSW management have been in lengthy negotiation and dispute procedures about the introduction of rostered Saturday shifts for Customer Service Representative/Driver Testers.

Ultimately the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) found that the Award allowed for CSR/DTs to be rostered for Saturday work.  It did however expect that Service NSW would consult with its staff as to their preference to work either:

  • Ten days per fortnight over Monday to Friday or
  • nine days per fortnight over Monday to Saturday (one Saturday per fortnight).

In situations where CSR/DTs had responsibilities that restricted their ability to work on Saturdays, Service NSW were required to take these into consideration.  Ultimately however, the IRC advised that the rostering provisions for Saturday work applied to CSR/DTs.

The PSA has been pursuing a number of individual requests to be excluded from Saturday work.  We have also raised with Service NSW that our members reported that not all Service Centres gave their staff a choice, and instead consultation consisted of being informed that they were required to work on one Saturday per fortnight.  When we raised these reports, Service NSW committed to progressing a number of individual issues from members at these centres who felt their caring and family responsibilities were not being taken into account.

The PSA has been successful in most cases, in negotiating options for individuals who have caring or family responsibilities. This has, depending on individual circumstances, resulted in Service NSW offering a transfer to locations that do not open on a Saturday, or restricted to one Saturday per month.

Members are advised in the first instance to put requests for roster changes to their manager in writing. Your request must be given due consideration. The PSA stresses that caring or family responsibilities have the greatest chance of your request being approved, and where you can demonstrate that these are not being accommodated the PSA can take action. For those without caring and family responsibilities but do not wish to work on Saturdays, the PSA still urges you to put your request in writing, as Service NSW has demonstrated concessions for compassionate reasons. Similarly, if you would like to be considered for a transfer to a different Service Centre which is not open on Saturday, please put these requests through in writing to your manager.

The PSA reminds members that their Award requires that all work undertaken on a Saturday will be subject to the payment of a 50 per cent loading.

Merry Christmas 2017 from the PSA

Dec 6, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017 from the PSA – December 2017 (PDF version)

We’re approaching another festive period and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the delegates and members who contribute to make this PSA such a united, strong and respected union. As in other years, the Government has announced a Christmas Closedown period for the 2017-18 Christmas and New Year Period.

The dates for this closedown are Monday 25 December 2017 until Friday 5 January 2018 inclusive.

You can read the government announcement HERE.

Can I work during the closedown period?

While the NSW Government encourages all non ‘frontline’ areas to shut down over the Christmas and New Year period, you are not required to put up a justification or a ‘business case’ to explain why you do not want to take leave.

Staff who intend to work should be contacting their relevant manager with their proposed dates.

Some agencies will be required to maintain full or reduced services. This means at least some staff may have to work through this period.

Unless you can be directed to take leave (see below), it is your choice as to whether you work or not. If your office is going to be shut, a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you. If practicable, this could include working from home for some or all of that time.

You may have to work at a different location, but you cannot be expected to travel unreasonable distances and you may be entitled to be reimbursed for the additional cost of your travel.

Can I be directed to take recreation leave due to the closedown?

You can be told to take recreation leave only if you have an ‘excess’ balance as defined by clause 77.2 of the Crown Employees (Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009.

This is usually defined as more than six weeks’ accumulated leave, in which case you can be directed to reduce your balance over a period of six months by mutual agreement; or over eight weeks’ leave, in which case you can be directed to take leave.

The PSA encourages members to regularly take recreation leave for their own health and welfare. Christmas and the New Year are a great time to do so.

Can I be directed to take extended (long service) leave or leave without pay?

You cannot be directed to take extended leave, long service leave or leave without pay under any circumstances.

Christmas concessional leave

If you are working on the morning of Christmas Eve (Sunday 24 December), you are entitled to concessional leave for the afternoon after you have worked a standard half day. If you have to work the afternoon as well, you can take your concessional leave on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve (Sunday 31 December).

The PSA has written to the Premier to remind her that, traditionally, concessional leave be made available to staff working on Friday 22 December as the last regular business day prior to Christmas.

You can read a copy of the letter HERE.

The former Premier, Mike Baird, ended this practice last year without any consultation with the PSA. Prior to last year, this concession was recognised by every Premier, including during the dark years of the Second World War.

We are still hopeful the Premier will see sense and restore the concessional day to public servants. We will let you know when we hear back from her.

Public holidays for Christmas and New Year

The following dates are public holidays in the 2016 Christmas closedown period:

  • 2017 – Monday 25 December, Tuesday 26 December
  • 2018 – Monday 1 January

Many agencies also have a public service holiday around this time, usually on the day following Boxing day, being Wednesday 27 December.

Season’s greetings

Let me take this opportunity to wish all members and their families best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year from me, my family and all the staff here at the PSA.

I hope you have a joyous and restful break from work, and return to work with the same dedication to public service you have displayed throughout 2017.

Should you have any questions about this bulletin, or require the support of your union during the Christmas period, please contact the PSA’s Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679. As always, the PSA will be there to support you when you need us, just as you support the people of NSW.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stewart Little
General Secretary

CPSU NSW member ballot on proposed enterprise agreement

Dec 6, 2017

 CPSU NSW member ballot on proposed enterprise agreement – December 2017 (PDF version)

The Office of the National Rail Safety Network (ONRSR) will shortly invite all staff, other than executive employees, to vote for a new enterprise agreement.

An enterprise agreement is a legal instrument which, along with your contract of employment and certain statutory protections, provides the principal terms and conditions of your employment.

The proposed agreement will operate seven days after approval by the Fair Work Commission and will nominally expire on 1 December 2020, or in approximately three years.

Key elements and analysis

ONRSR is proposing a three-year agreement with annual salary increases of two per cent or Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is greater.

The pay proposal continues the prevailing arrangements. The incorporation of the CPI measure ensures no-one goes backwards in relation to the December weighted national average, and should CPI remain below two per cent, there is opportunity for small growth in real wages over the life of the agreement. ONRSR has advised the CPSU and other bargaining representatives that the agency’s future funding is linked to CPI and the pay offer is consistent with that trajectory going forward.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 1.8 per cent over the 12 months to the September quarter 2017, compared with a rise of 1.9 per cent over the 12 months to the June quarter 2017. In terms of capital city results, Melbourne and Sydney lead the way with rises of 2.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively. Adelaide saw a 1.8 per cent rise, while Brisbane recorded 1.5 per cent and Perth 0.8 per cent for the 12 months to September 2017.

Compared with movements in the ABS Annual Wage Price Index, the offer is competitive when measured against private sector wage growth (1.9 per cent), but is likely to finish lower than the national average for movements in public sector wages (currently 2.4 per cent per annum).

Wage growth by industry measures suggests that movement in wages in public administration and safety have tracked at around 2.2 per cent in the public sector and around 2.6 per cent in the private sector.

As a further point of comparison it is also relevant to note that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator recently agreed to annual salary increases of 2.5 per cent (or CPI, whichever is greater) over the life of a three-year enterprise agreement (2017-2020).

Incremental progression

ONRSR is proposing to more clearly link incremental progression to the agency’s performance management process, with incremental advancement dependant on “above expectation” performance in future.

ONRSR has provided the following general data in response to our request for information relating to the potential impact of any change to incremental progression:

  • There are 134 employees under the enterprise agreement as at 29 November 2017
  • Of the 134 employees, 60 are at the top increment of their classification level and 17 are senior managers
  • 57 employees still have room to move within their classification level.

It is important to note that ONRSR is also seeking to retain the current wording of subclause 4.1.3, which only requires employer “consideration” of incremental progression where an employee is eligible.

In other words, while staff may demonstrate performance above expectation, the proposed clause is not intended to create a binding obligation on ONRSR to approve advancement to the next salary step.

Bandwidth

ONRSR is proposing to delete the word “standard” from sub-clause 3.1.3. In effect, the change will mean that all business units across the agency will operate according to the same 7am-7pm (Monday-Friday) bandwidth.

Time off in lieu of overtime (TOIL)

ONRSR is proposing to amend sub-clause 3.5.2 to modify the calculation (accumulation) of TOIL, where an employee performs the Duty Officer function referred to in clause 4.6. Under the proposed arrangements employees performing a “limited initial response” will accrue TOIL on an hour-for-hour (not at the overtime rate). It is unclear whether this will extend to circumstances where site or office attendance is required. However, it appears unlikely this is what the agency intends.

Duty officer allowance

ONRSR is proposing to increase the Duty Officer Allowance from $10 to $20 per day.

Special leave

ONRSR is proposing to include new categories of special leave, including domestic violence leave, cultural religious or ceremonial leave, extended compassionate leave and emergency situations leave.

Performance management and development

ONRSR is proposing that at the conclusion of the performance review cycle, managers will be required to provide written feedback to staff on their level of performance and why an increment increase has or has not been approved.

Prescription safety glasses

ONRSR is proposing to contribute $300 towards the cost of safety prescription glasses where the agency determines they are required to be worn by an RSO for work.

Have your say

As a democratic union, we want you to tell us whether you think the CPSU should endorse or reject ONRSR’s offer.

You can vote in the CPSU’s online poll by clicking HERE and following the prompts:

If a majority of CPSU members vote yes, we will write to staff endorsing the agreement and encouraging a yes vote when the all-staff ballot opens.

If a majority of CPSU members vote no, we will write to all staff to encourage a no vote.

The CPSU poll will close at 12:00pm on Monday, 11 December 2017.

Next steps

The all-staff ballot, which includes only those staff the agreement is intended to cover, will open on Tuesday, 12 December 2017.

What happens if staff vote yes?

If a majority of staff who vote, vote yes, then ONRSR’s proposed enterprise agreement will be made. ONRSR will then apply to the Fair Work Commission for approval of the enterprise agreement.

What happens if staff vote no?

If a majority of staff who vote, vote no, then ONRSR’s proposed agreement cannot be made. Under these circumstances staff will have voted to reject ONRSR’s offer and bargaining for a new enterprise agreement will continue.

For further information on bargaining, or if you would like to arrange a teleconference at work, contact our Senior Industrial Officer, Thane Pearce at tpearce@psa.asn.au.

United we Bargain, Divided we Beg!

ChildStory update

Dec 6, 2017

ChildStory update – December 2017 (PDF version)

It is very disappointing that despite the PSA’s meetings with the Minister, Pru Goward and the Secretary, Michael Coutts-Trotter, where we raised the many problems with ChildStory, the decision to go live was not further delayed. The rest of the state will go -live on Tuesday 12 December despite the numerous defects.

Impact on practitioners

The impact on caseworkers, managers, administrative support staff and so many other roles which depend on ChildStory to do their work is predicated to be acute. Caseworkers’ ability to do their tasks and create records reflecting work undertaken will be seriously compromised to the point it may directly impact on the safety of children and young people.

Next steps

The PSA has again written to the Secretary (click HERE) outlining problems being experienced by members and seeking a detailed briefing. Unless the Department takes steps to fix the defects in ChildStory, the PSA will consider all available options, including industrial action. We will continue agitate until ChildStory is fit for purpose.

KIDS read only

The PSA has previously raised the issue of using dual systems and the inherent dangers in doing so with the Secretary. Nevertheless members are having to use KIDS as read only to access children’s records due to defects in ChildStory.

Members are invited to contact the PSA with feedback of their experience of ChildStory following the state go-live to FACSOrganising@psa.asn.au.

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

PSA FACS staff training day to be held in Liverpool

Dec 6, 2017

PSA FACS staff training day to be held in Liverpool – December 2017 (PDF version)

Are you currently going through a restructure in your workplace, or want to understand the process better, know your rights and what you can do?

Well this is the training day is for you:

  • Wednesday, 13 December 2017
  • 10am-4pm
  • FACS building Moore St, Liverpool.
    Training room location to be advised closer to date.

The training day will focus on “ Dealing with Restructures “  To find out more about the training day and register please click on the link HERE.

PSA union training is open to all PSA members, not just workplace delegates.

Non-members wishing to attend training will need to submit a membership application form first.

We offer a variety of courses and PSA members have access to 12 days’ paid leave each two year period to attend PSA training courses http://psa.asn.au/training/ so if you can’t make the training on 13 December at Liverpool check out other Training days held at PSA House in the city.

PSA members who attend training are entitled to “special leave” under your Award conditions of employment. You will still need to apply for special leave through your normal leave approving processes, so best to apply for leave ASAP so it can be approved well in advance.

For more information about getting more involved in your union please contact PSA union Organiser, Vivette Horrex on 1300-772-679 or 0408410747.

FACS – Corporate Services Transformation update

Dec 6, 2017

FACS – Corporate Services Transformation update – December 2017 (PDF version)

PSA representatives were briefed on the second Corporate Services restructure (RMP2) proposal on 4 December 2017. Affected staff were also briefed by FACS representatives at Ashfield and Liverpool offices.

Restructure Management Plan 2 impacts on staff in the following areas:

  • Performance and reporting roles in HR and Finance
  • Performance Analysis and Reporting Branch in Corporate Governance and Performance
  • ICT
  • FASCAR which now becomes the FACS Insights, Analysis and Research (FACSIAR) Directorate.

Initial analysis by PSA representatives sees a reduction of roles across each area. The draft structures also reveal an unhealthy number of contractors within the ICT functional areas of more than 80 roles.

PSA request members’ and delegates’ feedback, particularly where a concern relates to deleted roles or a large number of temporary or contract staff currently engaged or proposed within the draft structures.

The RMP2 is now open for consultation until 23 January 2018 (click HERE). The PSA would like to respond to FACS management prior to 22 December in order to address issues concerning the Draft ICT and Information Management Structures and the Restructure Management Plan 2. The PSA has requested a further meeting prior to 22 January 2018.

The PSA will be holding a meeting for members prior to the Christmas break to deal with any CST issues a separate notice will follow.

Members can email any questions or concerns to membersupport@psa.asn.au or call the PSA Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

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

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