WELCOME BACK TO THE 2013 SCHOOL YEAR- SAS Email Bulletin Feb 2013

Feb 4, 2013

In this edition: PERMANENCY FOR LONG TERM TEMPORARY SAS STAFF, REDUNDANCY CASE, WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY and more

Download: SAS News Bulletin 4 Feb

PERMANENCY FOR LONG TERM TEMPORARY SAS STAFF
Congratulations to the many members who now have permanent hours due to the Permanency for Long Term Temporary Employees case won by the PSA in 2012.
If you were successful in gaining permanent hours, did you know you can submit an application for transfer (also referred to as a service transfer) for additional permanent hours or a full time position? The additional hours/position can be at the current school or another school.
If your permanent hours have been reduced, you have the option of accepting the reduction or submitting a nominated transfer form to maintain hours by being placed on a priority list to gain hours at another school where a vacancy exists.
Note: Nominated transfers have priority over service transfers
REDUNDANCY CASE
The PSA has achieved a great result for our members. Permanent SAS Staff are now eligible for redundancy under the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Managing Excess SASS Employees Policy.
Please note: SAS Staff cannot request a voluntary redundancy. If a position is abolished a voluntary redundancy will be offered by DEC in cases where alternative employment cannot be provided.
SAS Staff who resign or retire are not eligible for redundancy provisions
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
The PSA is happy to report to our members that it has negotiated a number of successful “Return to Work” programmes for members who have been injured at work. If members have WH&S issues please contact the PSA for assistance and make arrangements for a workplace visit if required.
2013 ONGOING ISSUES
LONG TERM TEMPORARY SAS STAFF EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) FOR PERMANENCY
Long Term Temps who meet the criteria can apply for permanency through the Expression of Interest (EOI) process set out in the 2012 Determination; details of the criteria and process can be accessed on the Department’s Intranet site, under the heading HR.
GENERAL ASSISTANTS
The PSA is involved in ongoing consultation with DEC regarding Safe Operating Procedures and Working Alone procedures. Members will be kept informed of the outcome of the consultation through regular updates.
Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) – it is expected that these procedures will be rolled out by the Department in Term 1.
This year there will be at least four General Assistant working party meetings and the PSA is also composing a GA specific newsletter. If you have a topic or an issue you would like to include in the newsletter contact your GA Organiser Greg Adnum by email or phone: gadnum@psa.asn.au or 0400 060 961.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AWARD
In early December 2012, the PSA held discussions with the Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, Mike Baird about the Government’s attack on NSW public sector workers’ conditions of employment, which will have a flow on affect to the award that covers SAS Staff, including cuts to annual leave loading entitlements, FACs leave and flexible working conditions. PSA members have made it clear that they will continue the fight to maintain conditions of employment that have been won by the PSA over many years.
This message was conveyed to the PSA at the well attended stop work meeting on October 8 last year.
The matter is back before the Industrial Relations Commission on 12 February 2013. Look at the general PSA emails for updates.
PSA SURVEY FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION MANAGERS
The PSA would like to thank the participants for the overwhelming response in regards to the recent survey on School Administration Managers. The information has been collated and will be used in ongoing negotiations with the Department. The PSA will continue discussions with DEC regarding any proposal to introduce Business Managers in schools and ensuring Administrative Managers are not disadvantaged. Senior PSA officials and staff met in January and decided to seek further advice in relation to this issue.
REDUNDANCIES
The PSA is appealing the decision to exclude long term temporary employees from redundancy provisions. The Department has issued a policy outlining redundancy provisions, however the PSA is pursuing a redundancy clause to be inserted into the award. A Government policy can be changed without agreement with the PSA, whereas an award can only be varied by consent. This case is before the Commission February 2013.
SCHOOL LEARNING SUPPORT OFFICERS (SLSOS)
Appeals for permanency
This issue has been before the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) for a long time, with the Department being slow to provide the Association with information supporting decisions on the appeals. With the assistance of the President of the IRC, the PSA met with the Deputy Director General of DEC to progress discussions on remaining appeals arising from the 2011 permanency for long term temporary staff process. The parties have now agreed on an outcome for the majority of these appeals and the Department is in the process of advising members of the outcomes. In other cases the parties agree the Department needs to make further contact with Principals before a final decision can be made. The parties will report back to the IRC later in February.
SLSOs Pre School
By 1 January 2014 SLSOs Preschool must have or be working towards a Children’s Services qualification at minimum Certificate III level (eg Certificate III Child Care).
The PSA will be meeting with the Department to discuss the implementation and raise any concerns regarding the new requirements. Members will be kept informed of outcomes of the meetings.
GENERAL INFORMATION
MEMBER COMMUNICATION/CHANGE OF DETAILS
Email and SMS are quick and efficient ways of keeping members updated. That is why the PSA is asking all members to contact us with personal (used during vacation period) and school email address and mobile number, as soon as possible.
If your name, school or contact details have changed, please contact PSA Membership on 9220 0900 extension 238.
ONSITE INFORMATION SESSIONS
The PSA encourages SAS Staff to book their PSA Organiser to visit your school to run an Information Session, at a time that is convenient for members. If you are not sure who the Organiser is for your area, please contact PSA on 9220 0900 and ask for the Schools Team.

ONGOING BANS IN 2013
The following PSA bans are still in place:
• FM Web
• Cash flow budgeting
• SMS Texting
• 3rd party software
Please continue to uphold these bans. They are in place to protect members.
Why not join a PARENT LOBBY GROUP?
The PSA is looking to establish a Public Education Lobby Group. Many PSA members are parents and grandparents and the lobby group will provide an opportunity to show support for public education and to lobby against cuts to education, including cuts to funding for students with additional needs.
The PSA invites members to be part of the Public Education Lobby Group. If you would like to join the lobby group email
schools@psa.asn.au to register your interest.
If you are not a PSA member …
Join the union now
On-line application
www.psa.asn.au
You can contact the PSA Schools Team on schools@psa.asn.au or on 1800 467 932 or
9220 0900 and ask for the Schools Team.
Sue Walsh, Maria Cirillo,
PSA President Senior Industrial Officer
Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW, 2001

 

Final Report, Closure of the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence

Feb 4, 2013

A Parliamentary Select Committee was established on 21 June 2012 to inquire into and report on the closure of the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre of Excellence. To download this report click here.

MEDIA RELEASE- Corrective services officers followed standard procedures in Thomson case

Feb 1, 2013

Friday 1 February 2013

Corrective services officers followed standard procedures in Thomson case

The Prison Officers Vocational Branch of the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA) take great exception to the disparaging remarks and comments made by the solicitor of Federal MP Mr Craig Thomson.
Anne Gardiner General Secretary of the PSA said: “The Officers involved in the search of Mr Thomson were at all times acting in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures of Corrective Services NSW and the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999. “Mr Thomson was placed into Corrective Services custody after he was bail refused by the police prior to being placed before the court. “It is a safety requirement that all new custodies are strip searched. Officers involved in the search acted in a professional and respectful manner at all times. “This type of name calling and vilification of people who are just doing their job is not on.”
Enquiries: Stewart Little 0418 610 792

Media Release -Craig Thomson

CPSU Pillar Consultative Meeting

Feb 1, 2013

The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting was held with the CPSU and Pillar representatives meeting on Friday 1 February 2013.

The following items were raised and discussed:

 

Purchased Leave
Pillar will shortly release a policy explaining the procedures in purchasing leave (to be read in conjunction with clause 20.4 of the Pillar EA ). A document has been written and should be out for review in the next few days. In lieu of this policy being finalised, staff are still able to purchase leave (reduce your salary in return for additional paid leave) as it is part of the EA. If you want to purchase additional leave you are encouraged to speak to your manager and if you run into any issues of you have any questions, please speak to one of your CPSU delegates.

Annual Leave Freeze
Members have advised us that Pillar is implementing an ‘annual leave freeze’ covering off the period around the end of financial year. It was confirmed that there is no Pillar wide annual leave freeze but that some teams may choose to manage annual leave around the end of financial year. We have asked for details to be provided to us regarding this period and have asserted that any such period be no longer than is essential. Pillar have committed to come back to us with the names of the teams affected and the proposed dates.

Changes in CRU and Contributions
A re-alignment of reporting lines is being considered for CRU and Contributions teams.This may mean that you start reporting to a different Team Manager, but should not affect your role or the work you are currently performing. If you are in these teams and you have concerns around this, please come and speak to one of your CPSU delegates.

Contact Centre Staffing
Towards the end of last year, the CPSU raised the issue of working hours and contact centre rosters. We talked about the change in working hours from 35 to 36 hours per week and the advice that the members in the contact centre were given around the need to reduce lunch breaks by 12 minutes (to accommodate this change). We also discussed the changes to the rosters where some employees are required to work shifts with start times ranging from 8 am to 10.30 am. We noted the pressures this placed on some of you because of your family commitments.

As you know during the last half of last year the Contact Centre went under a significant change with FSS calls required to be handled from Melbourne. When we raised the issues last year, we were advised that once the Melbourne Contact Centre was running at full capacity, a Contact Centre resource plan will be completed to provide Pillar with an understanding of staffing requirements in Coniston. This plan would assist with working out rosters and break times etc for the Contact Centre. We expected this plan to be available by the end of last year. At the JCC on Friday we were advised that this plan is yet to be completed and that the Melbourne Contact Centre is not yet in fully operational. There have been some issues with higher than expected turn over and a new group of Melbourne CSO’s should be starting in March/April causing the Coniston plan to be delayed. We have agreed that we will keep this as an open action item on the JCC agenda. Again, if you have any problems or issues and you want to talk to us about them, please come and speak to one of your CPSU delegates.

Admin and Client Services Restructure
Pillar stated the intention of the forth coming restructure is not about cutting jobs. We informed that executive and senior managers from the affected areas have been meeting to complete a proposed structure. Managers have been asked to start sharing some of the ideas that have come out of those meetings and getting feedback from there staff. It was also made clear that HR would welcome the input directly from staff regarding the changes being considered. As we get more information, we will provide you with updates. Please come and speak to one of your delegates if you have any feedback or questions).

Contact Centre Policies

Call Termination – Prior to Christmas, employees in the Contact Centre were asked to acknowledge the policy relating to termination of calls. The current policy states you are not to terminate calls under any circumstances. This is concerning because it may mean you are stuck with an abusive or threatening caller. All policies and recommendations we have reviewed indicate that the right to terminate a call (in appropriate circumstances) is essential . These concerns have been acknowledged by Pillar and the current policy is being reviewed. When the policy review has been completed, if it does not include a right to terminate, we have been advised that it will include a clear ‘way out’ if you are in a situation where it is not appropriate for you to continue with the conversation. Once a new policy is put together we will ask for your feedback to take to the next JCC. In the meantime, if you have any concerns or worries with the current policy, please get in touch with one of your delegates.

Call Quality Guidelines – Contact Centre employees are assessed on the ‘quality’ of a call and the Contact Centre has a document which outlines the standards in relation to call quality . We received a copy of those guidelines last week along with some feedback from members. Last week, a discussion was had with HR and this was followed up at the JCC. As a result the guidelines are going to be reviewed. While that review process is being undertaken, the guidelines will be removed from LivePro.

The status quo will remain for the time being and calls will continue to be assessed using the guidelines. However, if you are assessed under these guidelines and you have concerns with the result, or you wish to dispute the result, you are encouraged to speak to one of your CPSU delegates. We will then be able to request a review of the assessment. When the new guidelines have been developed, we will ask for your feedback to take to the JCC. Again, any questions or concerns please come and speak to one of your CPSU delegates.

Thanks to all members that contacted us regarding the issues above. Please be in touch if you have any questions regarding any of the matters that were raised.

SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS

Feb 1, 2013

The PSA is campaigning against a radical cost cutting agenda currently being implemented in the education sector by the NSW Government.

Local Schools, Local Decisions will mean job cuts and the casualisation of the public education workforce.  Such an attack will reduce the quality of education in NSW.

The involvement of all union members who work across the public sector can strengthen our campaign.

That is why the PSA is keen to establish a members’ public education lobby group.

If you are a parent, grandparent, carer or you are concerned about the direction the government is taking in relation to public education, then we encourage you to join our lobby group by emailing us at schools@psa.asn.au

More information about our campaign is available on the PSA website.  Please visit  www.supporteducation.com.au

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