Housing Contact Centre restructure survey

Sep 20, 2017

Housing Contact Centre restructure survey – September 2017 (PDF version)

We need your feedback

The following survey has been designed by your workplace delegates to gauge feedback in regard to the HCC restructure which has come about because of the FACS Cluster Operating Model (COM) restructure.

The previous Operations Leader roles at the HCC are to be deleted under the COM, and new job descriptions designed for the Team Leader roles. To date we are not sure if there will be any impact on the Client Service Officer roles or Housing Contact Centre functions.

To ensure workplace delegates are fully informed, we are surveying staff about the HCC Restructure.

The survey data collected will be used to address the issues impacting the HCC members. If you prefer, you can answer all questions and write comments anonymously.

It should take less than five minutes to complete the survey, and we encourage you to take advantage of the comments field after each question.

This is your chance to have your say! Survey closes Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

Click the link HERE to complete the survey.

SAS Staff – Pay leave simplification for long-term temporary employees

Sep 20, 2017

SAS Staff – Pay leave simplification for long-term temporary employees – September 2017 (PDF version)

As has been previously reported to members, the Department of Education (DoE) is in the process of simplifying pay and leave entitlements for long-term temporary (LTT) SAS Staff to “smooth” wages over school terms and vacation periods. This change will bring LTTs in line with the permanent SAS Staff.

Permanent SAS Staff went through the same process back in 1986 where the DoE proposed all SAS Staff would be remunerated under the new system providing for the payment of a constant weekly rate throughout the year. The system was based on the general principle that, on the whole, no SAS Staff member would either be advantaged or disadvantaged in terms of total remuneration. The system would remove the present fluctuations between the rate paid during school terms and that during school vacations.

This will mean that like permanent SAS Staff, LTT employees will receive the same pay whether they are on duty during school terms or off duty during student vacation periods.

The pay and leave simplification change will be implemented once the new HR/Payroll system has been rolled out across the DoE and into schools.

New HR/payroll system

The DoE and the PSA met on 25 August 2017. This meeting provided an overview of how the new HR/payroll system will be rolled out across the state.

Key information

  • Rollout will be phased over four releases. Release one is for DoE Corporate and a small sample of 32 schools. System testing before go live is approximately 98 per cent complete.
  • In the lead up to Release 1, live testing of the system will be undertaken from August to October 2017. The DoE intends to run parallel systems for a defined period so any bugs in the new system can be readily identified and eliminated.

Release dates are as follows:

  1. 23 November 2017 – 5%
  2. March 2018 – additional 10%
  3. April 2018 – additional 35%
  4. May 2018 – 50% (all remaining schools)
  • Release 1 has some sample high schools and primary schools which have been selected based on staffing stability.
  • As part of the move to the new system, the majority of HR/payroll functions that take place in schools will transition from manual forms to online. The DoE believes this should allow for greater flexibility and efficiency in schools.
  • The DoE has advised no additional HR/payroll responsibilities will be devolved to schools as part of the move to SAP. Only existing HR processes in schools will be required under the new system, such as leave applications and HDA process, remain the same. Schools will not need to undertake the payroll function; this will still be processed by HR as has always been the case.
  • The DoE is developing posters, FAQs and other learning materials for the training. A manager’s toolkit is also being prepared.

What next?

In preparation of the new HR/payroll system, PSA members are encouraged to login to check that your BSB and bank account number for your pay is current. Updating your banking details will help ensure a smooth transition when your school goes live with the new HR/payroll system.

If your banking details are incorrect, you risk not receiving your pay on time!

Not a member? JOIN online!

Service NSW – member update

Sep 19, 2017

Service NSW member update – September 2017 (PDF version)

Driver Tester update

The last PSA bulletin reported the actions of your union in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) around the changes to rostering for Driver Testers in Service NSW, and the resulting increased consultation. Click HERE to read this bulletin.

Initial feedback to Service NSW

In the first IRC appearance, Service NSW was instructed to provide draft rosters for five Service Centres so preliminary consultation could occur.

After consultation with the members in these sites, the PSA provided initial feedback to Service NSW. This included the reaction of Driver Testers, concerns about the lack of choice in some sites, concerns about staff shortages, the need for more training and work overload arising from shorter working days.

In addition, the PSA submitted a preliminary proposal, which was also tabled in the IRC:

  1. That the implementation of any changes to the rostering system be delayed until thorough and proper consultation is undertaken.
  2. That all vacancies created by staff departures in Service Centres are filled prior to the implementation of any rostering changes.
  3. That a full analysis and round of training be undertaken prior to any changes which would result in Driver Testers being required to work Saturdays.
  4. That consultation includes consideration of the number of tests that will be required to be undertaken by Driver Testers on a daily basis.
  5. That, if rostering changes are to go ahead, that four choices are given to Driver Testers, each of which including 70 hours over a two-week period :
    1. Monday to Friday over 10 days.
    2. Working every second Saturday over 10 days.
    3. Monday to Friday over 9 days.
    4. Working every second Saturday over 9 days.

This feedback was also tabled in the IRC, and we expect that consultation will continue around these and other points as the changes are implemented.

IRC ongoing

You union, the PSA, returned to the IRC on Friday 15 September for the third hearing of this ongoing dispute.

As previously reported, the Chief Commissioner has conceded Service NSW has the right to change to two-week rostering. However, as a result of member feedback and your union’s actions, the following progress has been achieved:

  • The staggered implementation of rostering changes, with less than half of the 28 sites commencing with a changed roster from 22 September, and the remainder from 20 October.
  • The enhanced ability for Driver Testers to choose their preferred working pattern, and have their choice honoured.
  • Ongoing consultation on the impacts of the new rostering model as the changes are implemented.
  • The ability to explore other rostering models after the initial introduction of the changes.

Individual choice

As noted above, the ability of Driver Testers to choose between rosters of Monday-to-Friday or rosters including a Saturday has been reinforced through the IRC process.

Driver Testers should have already been given a choice, but now where the choice of a PSA member has not been honoured, the PSA has the ability to advocate on their behalf. We have already been successful when this has occurred, and rosters have been adjusted after members have approached us for assistance.

If you have chosen a roster pattern that is not honoured in a published roster, call the PSA on 1300 772 679 or email DTRostering@psa.asn.au so your union can assist you.

Next steps

The dispute is listed to return to the IRC on 25 October 2017, with leave to relist if urgent issues arise in the interim.

In the meantime, the PSA will assist individuals, visit each impacted site, talk with members, and monitor the situation as the changes are implemented. Information that we gather through this process will be used in the ongoing consultation towards a final model for rostering for Driver Testers in Service NSW.


100 years of the Petty Sessions Officers Association

Sep 19, 2017

Petty Sessions Officers Association – 100 years – September 2017 (PDF version)

The voice of court staff within your union, the PSA!

What is the Petty Sessions Officers Association (PSOA)?

The PSOA is the Advisory Group within the PSA that represents members working in Local Courts, Children’s Courts, the Coroner’s Court and District Courts. It consists of PSA delegates within Court Services across NSW. This year marks the 100th year of the PSOA.

The PSOA champions the invaluable work you do, and advocates for your working rights and conditions. The PSOA meets with Court Services management on a quarterly basis to raise industrial issues on behalf of members (Court Services Joint Consultative Committee).

Your PSOA delegates are:

Honorary Secretary – Jeffrey Walters, Wyong Court jeffrey.walters@justice.nsw.gov.au

Vice Presidents  

Veronica Antcliff, Scone Court veronica.antcliff@justice.nsw.gov.au

Danielle Beard, Forbes Court danielle.beard@justice.nsw.gov.au

Assistant Secretary – Sharyn Rowlands, Narrandera Court sharyn.rowlands@justice.nsw.gov.au

Ordinary executive members

Gordon Roberts, Downing Centre gordon.roberts@justice.nsw.gov.au

Stephen Wells, Tamworth Court stephen.wells@justice.nsw.gov.au

Become a Court Services delegate!

Would you like to become involved with your union and make a difference in your workplace? Becoming involved with the PSOA is the best way to advance the workplace issues that you care about and to improve your rights at work by building strength on the ground and supporting your fellow members.

The PSOA is looking for more members. Mentoring and training will be provided by PSA staff and delegates. All members are entitled to
12 days (every two years) of paid trade union leave to attend PSA training courses. Enrol online HERE.

Contact any of the PSOA delegates or your PSA staff if you are interested.

Upcoming court staff survey

The PSOA want to know the issues that you face in your roles and your workplaces. Keep an eye out for a survey that will be sent out in the near future. Members can also send feedback to any of the PSOA delegates or PSA staff.

Your PSA staff:

Organiser – Surabi Alauddin salauddin@psa.asn.au

Industrial officer – Andrew Boulton aboulton@psa.asn.au

Unity, Strength, Respect – united we bargain, divided we beg. The more members we have in Court Services, the stronger we become to advocate and fight for better working conditions, higher pay increases and increased job security. Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online.

Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open plan update

Sep 19, 2017

Consultation matters!

CSO management is obliged by legislation and policy to consult with the PSA on matters of workplace change, and your union will take action to ensure that this happens.

PSA meeting with CSO management – 13 September 2017

Your PSA representatives and delegates met with CSO management and requested the halting of any progress on the open-plan office proposal, pending the commencement of consultation with the PSA.

CSO management agreed to enter formal consultation with the PSA, including genuinely considering membership’s concerns and feedback. CSO management has since provided the PSA with:

  • CSO’s response to PSA’s letter dated 31 August
  • Draft Change Management Plan
  • Draft Workplace Change Management Strategy
  • Concept fit-out plans
  • NSW Government’s fit-out design principles – which management claims enforce an open-plan set-up for new workplace accommodation changes
  • Communication plan.

The PSA has further requested a Risk Assessment Plan. The official Change Management Plan will be circulated across to the entire membership for comment once provided to the PSA.

Management claimed “Government policy mandates the introduction of open-plan offices”; see copy of Property NSW ‘s July 2017 NSW Government Fitout Design Principles (Office Workplace Accommodation) that CSO cited as the relevant policy, but which the PSA notes does not stipulate a compulsory mandate.

CSO management agreed to halting any further progress on the open-plan proposal in the interim other than the following:

  • completion of the Readiness Survey and Meeting Room Survey
  • continuation of the Records Management File Storage Project
  • work regarding the relocation of
    Level 5 staff to Bligh Street
  • tendering for architects to prepare final floor plans after the consultation (the tender process being indicated to take about a month to complete)
  • obtaining of feedback from staff on concept plans.

The PSA has requested a second consultation meeting with CSO management for the week starting 25 September 2017.

 We want your feedback!

Send your feedback, ideas and concerns to your PSA delegates by COB Thursday, 21 September. In particular comments around:

  • Active file use and storage
  • Noise and focus
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Collaboration
  • Telephone use
  • Supervision and meetings.

All concerns will be collated into one document, to draw from when we consult with management. A big thank you to all members who have already provided such feedback.

Call out for delegates and health and safety representatives

In order to build strength on the ground and wield more negotiating influence with management, we need more active members at the CSO.

If you would like to improve your rights at work and assist your fellow colleagues nominate yourself to become a delegate or Health and Safety Representative! Get in touch with your delegates or contact your PSA organiser.

 Your PSA delegates are:

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

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

Your PSA staff are:

Organiser, Surabi Alauddin SAlauddin@psa.asn.au

Industrial officer, Andrew Boulton aboulton@psa.asn.au

Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online at www.psa.asn.au, or see your delegates for membership forms.

Stronger, Together – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!



Health Care Complaints Commission – member update

Sep 19, 2017

Health Care Complaints Commission – member update – Sept 2017 (PDF version)

A meeting of the Workplace Consultative Committee took place on 15 September 2017. The following issues were discussed:

  1. Public Service Commission – People Matters Survey

The appointment of Ms Carmel McGregor as consultant following the results of the People Matters Survey was discussed. Advice was provided that the consultant would be seeking further information, holding focus groups, meeting one-on-one with staff and preparing a report which will include recommendations. This work is to be completed by mid-October 2017.

The PSA requested the Terms of Reference for Ms McGregor’s engagement be made available to staff. This was agreed to.

It was made clear at the meeting the consultant would not have access to the free text – the comments made by staff – in the survey. This reflects a determination by the PSC on the basis of confidentiality.

The PSA believes the results of the People Matters Survey are deeply concerning, a fact which was acknowledged by management. It indicated it is hoping Ms McGregor’s work assists in developing strategies that can be readily implemented to improve staff engagement and ensure staff are “safe, happy and supported”. Clearly this is going to require a much bigger effort than the work of a consultant engaged until mid-October.

The PSA indicated we would be available to meet with Ms McGregor. We encourage staff to participate in the process. If any difficulties are encountered, please let the PSA know and we will follow up on your behalf.

  1. PSA staff survey

With the release of the People Matters Survey, it was an opportune time to provide management with the results of the PSA’s staff survey.

The full results of the PSA’s survey, which include comments from staff, have not been provided at this stage due to the issue of confidentiality. Similar concerns are identified to the People Matters Survey, particularly in relation to bullying issues.

The PSA thanks all members who participated. We will be guided by members’ views as to whether to provide the full report to management.

  1. Workload

The PSA again raised concerns about the heavy workload experienced by staff and the work, health and safety risks this poses.

Management denied any one staff member would ever have a caseload of 300. The PSA was advised there has been a decrease in work allocated to assessment officers. We were advised staff are working on reducing the backlog and steps are being taken to relieve pressure points in the lead-up to the Christmas/New Year period.

Members may wish to provide feedback on this matter. The PSA reiterated its concerns about excessive workloads and the need for significant and sustained improvement as a matter of urgency.

  1. Refurbishment project

Management advised it is proposed to change desk configurations, repurpose the current conference room, change the reception area and improve the kitchen space. The PSA was advised hot-desking was not part of the project. This is welcome news.

The PSA raised the work, health and safety issues that exist at the HCCC in terms of boxes and files and made the point the refurbishment was an opportunity to address these.

The PSA recommended an Accommodation Working Group be established, including staff representation. This was agreed to.

  1. Policy update

The HCCC is reducing the number of policies from over 30 down to 16. A policy on performance management is close to finalisation and the PSA encourages all staff to familiarise themselves with this document when it is issued.

  1. Social media policy

The PSA was advised the HCCC had no social media policy. The PSA argued all agencies should have social media policies to provide staff with appropriate guidance. Management agreed to take this on board in the current policy work being undertaken. The PSA has subsequently provided an example of a social media policy to assist in the process.

As the HCCC does not have a social media policy as this point in time, the PSA has some practical suggestions to pass on to members following a presentation at the recent PSA Women’s Conference. We recognise our HCCC members are dealing with sensitive information on a daily basis and are likely to be conscientious users of social media, however, there is no harm in considering a few simple steps to protect yourself:

  • There is no general right to privacy in Australia when it comes to social media. Employers may be able to take disciplinary action against employees if online activities have an impact on the employment relationship
  • Be careful about making comments about your agency, the government, its policies or co-workers on social media, particularly with an ‘open’ social media account or where you are ‘friends’ with co-workers
  • Check social media privacy settings. You might want to consider having them set at the highest possible level and avoid having your account accessible by the public at large
  • Be careful in ‘liking’ or ‘retweeting’ comments which have negative impact on your employer’s reputation. They may imply agreement
  • If you have open social media, think about how photos you post may be perceived by your current employer or prospective employers checking up on you. ***

Your PSA industrial officer is Carmel McKeough –cmckeouqh@psa.asn.au.

Update and Connect with the PSA

If you have moved home or work location, or you have changed your contacts, please update your membership details HERE.

*** Advice provided to PSA members by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers at PSA Women’s Conference on 13 September 2017.




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