NSW Trustee & Guardian PSA meeting notice

Dec 5, 2017

NSW Trustee and Guardian PSA meeting notice – December 2017 (PDF version)

Parramatta monthly meeting

The NSW Trustee and Guardian Parramatta monthly meeting will take place as follows:

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Room 4.03

Level 4


  • Justice Flex-Time Agreement vote (closing Friday, 8 December 2017)
  • Workloads and KPIs
  • Forfeited flex hours
  • Discussion and debrief of 2017 and planning for 2018
  • Meeting dates for 2018
  • General business.

Anything raised will be treated with strict confidentiality.

For those who can’t make the full hour, feel free to drop by for part of the meeting. All Trustee and Guardian staff are strongly encouraged to speak with us to discuss these or any other matters of concern. Non-members are also welcome to come and have a chat about the benefits of joining the PSA and membership forms will be available.

It’s time to join your colleagues and get involved in defending your rights and conditions at work – strong membership means a strong union!

Burwood CSC members meeting

Dec 5, 2017

Burwood CSC members meeting – December 2017 (PDF version)

During a recent visit to Burwood CSC, your PSA organiser was asked to hold a members’ meeting to discuss recent developments at your workplace. Members flagged concerns around the office relocation and the upcoming launch of Childstory.

We will also discuss the union’s ongoing campaign for Community Services, ‘Safe Hands’, and touch on the union-wide ‘Change the Rules’ campaign.

The meeting will be open to members and non-members, and there will be an opportunity for people not already in the union to join.

12 December 2017


Conference Room

Your PSA organisers Mary Jo Costache and Jose Vasquez will be in attendance.

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact our Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

Sheriff Operations Centre (SOC) bulletin

Dec 5, 2017

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

In the last SOC bulletin sent out to members on 31 October 2017, the PSA advised it would provide updates on the progress of the SOC roster as further information came to hand.

Your union filed a dispute at the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on 4 November 2017. The basis of our dispute was the NSW Sheriff on 16 October 2017 removed working conditions of SOC Sheriff’s Officers. The NSW Sheriff removed the shift roster that has been operating since around 1991. That resulted in you working seven-hour shifts with a compulsory one-hour meal break and losing a monthly RDO. We sought that the IRC make directions that the longstanding roster be reinstated. The roster is not covered fully by any award other than the Public Service Conditions award for meal breaks and some shift provisions. We contend the roster became part of SOC Sheriff’s employment contract by custom and practice.

The hearings

On 7 November 2017 compulsory conciliation occurred before Chief Commissioner Kite.

The Department:

  • Presented a 1993 enterprise agreement that Sheriff’s Officers work a 38-hour week. That agreement was rescinded by the 2001 Sheriff’s award. That award incorporated flexible working hours by a local arrangement that Sheriff’s Officers work a 35-hour week but are deemed 38-hour-week workers. The SOC Sheriffs were excluded from that arrangement being shift workers and hence work a 38-hour week.
  • Submitted all Sheriff’s Officers by a formalised agreement will work a 35-hour week commencing early December 2017. The SOC Sheriff’s being shift workers are again excluded from flexible working hours and will work standard seven-hour days and for WHS reasons will have a one-hour meal break.

Your PSA contended:

  • Custom and practice about the roster using case law and the IRC has jurisdiction to hear it.
  • SOC Sheriff’s losing an RDO every 20 days and having a one-hour meal break is a WHS risk (especially during 10.30pm-6.30am shift), and sick leave will dramatically increase.

Chief Commissioner Kite held:

  • SOC Sheriffs work a 35-hour week, the Public Service Conditions award is committed to flexible working hours, and both the Conditions award and Sheriffs award have limited application to SOC.

Chief Commissioner Kite directed:

  • The parties come up with options that are cost-neutral (no overtime impact when relieving SOC Sheriffs on RDOs), SOC Sheriffs to get RDOs (may not be 13 a year), and not be in breach of the awards.

On 22 November a report back was listed. However, the NSW Sheriff sought an adjournment to further consider its options.

On 30 November the department provided the PSA with a draft Sheriffs Operation Centre Shift Agreement 2017 (the agreement).

We are to report back to the IRC on Friday 15 December on progress of negotiations on the agreement. The draft agreement can be found HERE.

Negotiations on the agreement

We seek comment from SOC members on the agreement. The PSA, SOC members and a SOVBAG delegate will meet with the department to negotiate your amendments to the agreement. Given, Christmas is not far away, we would be seeking a meeting with the department soon as possible.

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

Australian Unity member bulletin

Dec 5, 2017

Australian Unity member bulletin – December 2017 (PDF version)

February 2018 marks the two-year anniversary of Home Care staff transferring to Australian Unity.

Staff who transferred to Australian Unity from the public service are covered by the Crown Employees (Home Care Service of New South Wales – Administrative Staff) Award 2012. This is known as “copied State award”.

Operation of “copied State award”

Section 768AO of the Fair Work Amendment (Transfer of Business) Act 2012 states the default period of a “copied State award” is five years.

It further states the copied state agreement will cease/terminate if an enterprise agreement is made that covers the employee and the new employer.

This simply means that if a new Enterprise Agreement is not made before or after the employment guarantee period of two years, then the copied state award can exist for a further period of three years.

Entitlement to flex- time

Access to flexible Working Hours is an employment condition/entitlement that is embedded in Clause 11 of the Crown Employees (Home Care Service of New South Wales – Administrative Staff) Award 2012. Please click HERE for the PSA/CPSU Fact Sheet on Australian Unity – Flexible Working Hours.

Denying you access to flex leave or flexi day-off is a breach of the award and members are urged to raise it with the CPSU NSW at aumemberscpsunsw@psa.asn.au.

Housing Contact Centre PSA/HCC November consultation meeting

Dec 5, 2017

Housing Contact Centre PSA HCC November consultation meeting – December 2017 (PDF version)

On 22 November 2017, PSA delegates and the PSA Housing industrial Officer met with Housing Contact Centre Management for our fourth quarterly Joint Consultative meeting for 2017.

At this meeting we began by confirming four of the eight remaining previously grade 5/6 ‘Operations Leaders’, whose roles have been deleted due to the Cluster Operating Model (COM) restructure, were offered ‘Voluntary Redundancy or Redeployment’. These four long-term dedicated employees and PSA members were pleased the PSA fought for the extension of their employment from the original 30 June deletion date to 30 September 2017. Once their substantive roles were deleted they were deemed eligible to be covered by the Managing Excess Employees Policy 2013 NSW (MEE Policy).

What is not clear is why the remaining four former Operations Leaders, whose 5/6 grade substantive roles were also deleted at the same time, have not been offered the same ‘Voluntary Redundancy or Redeployment’ under the same policy. This was raised in the meeting.

A brief and unsatisfactory response from management was they have been treated differently because they’ve been acting in ‘temporary development roles’. It is the view of the PSA that this is not an adequate reason. When an employee’s substantive role has been deleted under a restructure, the MEE policy applies unless other legislation has overridden it.

Two members in this cohort have asked the PSA to take this up with FACS HR, so that the same options are afforded them, as have been offered to their colleagues.

Issues raised with HCC management on behalf of PSA members

The two other burning member issues we raised at the meeting were conversion of long-term temps to ongoing roles and maternity leave policy/processes.

Conversion of long-term temps to ongoing roles

The PSA conveyed its belief that public services are best delivered by permanent public servants in secure ongoing employment. We asserted the HCC should take all reasonable steps to provide its employees with secure employment by maximising the number of permanent positions in the workforce. We communicated that the HCC has a number of long-term temporary staff who have been in roles for more than 12 months, but are employed on insecure contracts. We asserted these should be converted to ongoing roles.

We were encouraged to see the HCC does have a process for conversion of long-term temporary staff to ongoing roles; and were able to demonstrate that the last conversion was processed this year (between February and May 2017). Thirty-three long-term temporary employees, mostly Client Service Officers, were converted to ongoing roles during this time. We have been assured the opportunity for further conversions will be revisited at the time of budget review at the end of the 2017-2018 financial year. Conversion of long-term temporary staff will be an ongoing conversation the PSA has with FACS Housing on behalf of our members to ensure that these conversions happen regularly.

Parental leave policy/processes

The PSA addressed the issue of parental leave for both permanent and temporary staff. We let management know our members have major concerns about how parental leave is being handled at the HCC, both in terms of
a) entitlement to take unpaid parental leave and
b) entitlement to return to a role after taking parental leave.

PSA delegates cited examples where our members as long-term temporary staff have been advised if they take parental leave they will need to re-apply for their roles on their return.

HCC management was confident in its belief they are acting in compliance with the legislative requirement, despite our examples. Management asserted it believes casual employees are not entitled to return to work at the HCC after a period of parental leave. The PSA disagreed on this point and verbally explained our position, which we indicated will also be put in writing as follows:

a) Right to unpaid parental leave

The PSA cited the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) (“IR Act”) (s54) and Cl 80 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 (“the Award”) entitlement of an “employee” to 52 weeks of full-time unpaid parental leave (or two years part-time) with the birth or adoption of a child.

The act defines an “employee” (s5) to include part-time or casual contractors working on a regular, systematic basis. A “regular casual employee” is a casual employee who works for an employer on a regular and systematic basis and who has a reasonable expectation of on-going employment on that basis (IR Act, s 53(2)).

b) Return to work after parental leave

The PSA cited s66 of the IR Act and Cl 75 of the Award, where a regular long term employee is entitled after parental leave to return to a role they were doing prior to leave – or if the role ceases to exist while on leave, then to return to another role at grade.

The PSA made it clear that there is an obligation on the Department to grant the leave and to re-engage employees after parental leave. The award specifies (at 12.5.4) that regular casual employees are entitled to unpaid parental leave under, s54, ‘Entitlement to Unpaid Parental Leave’, in accordance with the IR Act. And it further specifies that:

(a) The Department Head must not fail to re-engage a regular casual employee because:

(i) the employee or employee’s spouse is pregnant; or

(ii) the employee is or has been immediately absent on parental leave.

As agreed, the PSA Housing Industrial Officer will assert these parental leave award entitlements on behalf of Housing Members, in writing to the HCC Director and HR manager for a formal response.

If you do have concerns and/or examples in relation to parental leave, please talk to your PSA HCC delegate who will gather the information for our case.

PSA Staff

Kris Cruden – Industrial Manager

Vivette Horrex – Organiser

Katy Ambler – Industrial Officer

You can support the work of the PSA and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN their union.

If you have any questions about this bulletin please email FACSOrganising@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.

The Benevolent Society coverage dispute update regarding Fair Work Commission hearing

Dec 5, 2017

The Benevolent Society coverage dispute update regarding Fair Work Commission hearing – December 2017 (PDF version)

As members are aware, the CPSU NSW recently lodged an application with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for coverage as an employee organisation on behalf of members. The matter has been listed for hearing before Commissioner Johns at Sydney on 15 December 2017.

The CPSU NSW is the federal counterpart of the PSA for the purpose of the Fair Work Act 2009 and your industrial rights and obligations are now determined under that legislation and jurisdiction following your transition from employment with ADHC. In NSW, members of the PSA are also members of CPSU NSW and therefore you are now represented in the name of CPSU NSW.

CPSU NSW recently reported to members (Bulletin dated 16 October 2017) that The Benevolent Society (TBS) has refused to recognise the CPSU’s right to enrol and represent the ADHC Clinical Services employees transferred to the employment of TBS on 1 August 2017. TBS was joined in its opposition by the Health Services Union (HSU).

The hearing of the matter was originally meant to have proceeded on 27 October 2017 although that date was delayed due to combined objections by TBS and the HSU.

CPSU NSW can now advise the HSU has formally withdrawn its objection to our right to cover our members employed at TBS.

What happens next?

CPSU NSW and our lawyers will attend the hearing on 15 December 2017 and a number of witnesses from both TBS and CPSU NSW will be cross-examined in relation to their affidavit evidence filed in these proceedings. It is possible Commissioner Johns might then reserve his decision until the New Year. CPSU NSW will update members once the FWC has delivered its judgment.

Your award conditions

Members are reminded that your industrial conditions remain in force in accordance with your existing entitlements pursuant to the awards listed below and will do so until replaced by an enterprise agreement:

  • Crown Employees (Public Sector – Salaries 2017) Award – not currently available on the NSW IRC website. See NSW Treasury website for link to Salaries Award (2017) HERE.

We will continue to be your union and to fight for your rights and entitlements. Now more than ever it is important to make sure all staff in your branch are members of the CPSU NSW/PSA.

Your CST Advisory Group delegates are:

Bronwyn Couch

Susan Lappan

Cheryl Jones

Itaru Yamamoto

Helen Goltzoff

Kim Ainsworth

Kathy Nash

Jessie Hartley

Kylie Fulton

Craig Maynard

Tomas Buratovich

Wynette Sheather

If you’re interested in becoming a delegate let your organiser know or email us at DisabilityCPSUNSW@psa.asn.au.

Your PSA/CPSU staff are:

Dean Allen – Industrial Officer

Siobhan Callinan – Senior Organiser

Contact us at DisabilityCPSUNSW@psa.asn.au.

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



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