Reminder: Have you done the PSA Accreditation survey?

Dec 4, 2017

Reminder – Have you done the PSA Accreditation survey – December 2017 (PDF version)

OOHC Accreditation – unmanageable workloads

We are gathering information on how this is impacting on workers in Community Services and would like to hear from you.

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the survey and all responses will be kept strictly confidential.

No individual respondent will be identified.


Already filled out the survey? Please update question 19

Unfortunately there was a glitch in the original survey. If you have the time please update question 19 to indicate which CSC you work in.

We understand some people may not wish to identify this location. However, you can feel confident that all responses will be kept strictly confidential and no individual respondent will be identified.

Water NSW member update

Dec 4, 2017

Water NSW member update – December 2017 (PDF version)

The final Matthews Report has been released. You can find a copy in the links at the end of this update.

There are a wide range of recommendations, many of which impact Water NSW.

While the Terms of Reference were focused on the Department of Industry, many of the recommendations are sound and Water NSW should look to adopting similar approaches.

The most important features which will impact on members are the following recommendations:

  • Staff: As decided by Cabinet, “all compliance and enforcement staff” would return from WaterNSW to the department. This means any staff member actively involved in enforcement. It also means a notional share of the WaterNSW staffing budget reflecting the proportion of time that WaterNSW officers currently deal with compliance issues
  • Advice: WaterNSW would henceforth no longer seek to advise individual clients on compliance matters. Where the need for such advice to a client became apparent, WaterNSW would refer that client to compliance staff within NRAR. For its part, NRAR would formally commit to timely response standards
  • Education: WaterNSW would retain a delegated role in contributing to customer education at the collective level. For example, the distribution of NRAR-endorsed educational materials to groups of customers or the presentation of such materials at meetings and conferences
  • Sanctions: WaterNSW would no longer have the power to issue low-level infringement or penalty notices. All such enforcement action would be with NRAR
  • Reporting: While the focus of WaterNSW staff would continue to focus on customer service, there would be an obligation on all staff including meter readers to contribute to compliance and enforcement efforts by mandatory immediate reporting to NRAR of suspected breaches. NRAR would formally commit to a reciprocal responsibility to consider the report in a timely fashion and to keep WaterNSW informed of follow-up action
  • Liaison machinery: Senior level consultation machinery would be established to monitor and steer the inter-agency working relationship and deal with any future operational interface difficulties

In addition, Ken Matthews has identified that “problems [have been] caused by unresolved boundary issues between government agencies involved in compliance and enforcement”. He recommends that “[t]he objective should be to delineate roles to avoid any overlap in responsibilities. Not only is overlap unnecessarily costly but it causes confusion in the minds of clients and staff.” (page 3)

Specifically, for the Crown Lands and Water Division in the Department of Industry, Ken Matthews recommends the Department implement cultural changes including,

“communication to all staff of the importance and priority of reform projects”, “introducing external whistleblower service for employees” and “a cultural transformation to improve ethics”.

The Department has started implementing strategies to improve staff morale, staff engagement and communication.

Ken Matthews also recommends that the Department implement a “re-design of staff feedback processes to encourage frank and empowered communication up the line without staff needing the cover of anonymous formal whistle-blower procedures (although anonymous channels should of course, continue to be available).”

The Department of Industry is establishing a Water Renewal Taskforce to work closely with matter experts in the Crown Land and Water Divisions and other agencies including Water NSW. Expressions of interest are open for those who are interested.

These are excellent developments and similar strategies should be implemented by Water NSW.

All employees at Water NSW are bound by the same legal requirements as the rest of the NSW public service in relation to conflict of interest, maladministration, and potential corrupt behaviour.

Like the rest of the public service, all employees at Water NSW are required to report behaviour or actions that may constitute corruption or maladministration.

A useful factsheet on maladministration can be found on the Ombudsman’s website HERE, as well as information about public interest disclosures (previously called protected disclosures) found HERE.

The Ken Matthews Interim Report can be found HERE and the Ken Matthews final report can be found HERE.

The NSW Ombudsman Report on Water Compliance and Enforcement can be found HERE and the Murray Darling Basin Water Compliance Review report can be found HERE.

POVB bulletin

Dec 1, 2017

POVB bulletin – December 2017 (PDF version)

IRC hearing – benchmarking

The PSA were in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) before Commissioner Newall yesterday over benchmarking reforms. CSNSW HR had put forward a proposal to ‘ring fence’ the entire Long Bay Complex (MSPC, LBH & SPC) Grafton and Glen Innes, Tamworth and St Helliers and Emu Plains and Dillwynia.

The Department argued that it would be the best and fairest HR option for staff at those locations. The POVB were opposed to this strategy and argued to continue ‘ring fencing’ each centre on a ‘stand-alone’ basis.

Unfortunately, Commissioner Newall ruled in favour of the Department and those gaols will now be ‘ring fenced’ together. We have requested that CSNSW provide all information regarding the HR process immediately.

Our next hearing in the IRC is on Tuesday, 19 December. We are opposed to having the Department place two week blocks of annual leave in the cyclic rostering model. We maintain that staff must be able to take annual leave when they choose to take it, NOT when CSNSW decides they take it. The matter of the 12 hour shift allowance which has affected members at Kirkconnell, Glen Innes and Berrima will also be heard. In addition we are fighting for a pay rise for Senior Correctional Officers due to the deletion of the Assistant Superintendent rank and associated duties that will be passed onto SCOs.

Once we receive transcripts, we will forward them onto delegates to view the full IRC decision.

John Morony CC

JMCC commenced the new working model on Monday, 27 November. The reduction of staff in the centre is very challenging and the POVB State Executive will work closely with delegates and members throughout the transition period. Many issues have already been identified and our focus is to ensure safety and security of the centre is maintained at all times.

Benchmarking Committees

The POVB State Executive would like to thank all POVB delegates and members who have put their hand up to sit on local Benchmarking Committees. This process is very difficult to understand and it can be quite stressful for the members of those committees as they try their very best to get good results for fellow POVB members.

Over the past fortnight, the POVB State Executive have visited Mannus, Broken Hill, Ivanhoe, LBH and MSPC to assist the benchmarking process in those centres. We meet CSNSW senior management each fortnight and raise issues from our correspondence with the committees of those centres. We will continue to raise issues in that forum on behalf POVB members and if they cannot be resolved, we will list those matters in the IRC.

CSNSW Remembrance Day

The last Friday in November is CSNSW Remembrance Day. Last Friday, PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little attended the services at the Long Bay Complex and Brush Farm Academy together with the POVB State Executive and Industrial Officer, David McCauley. CSNSW Remembrance Day is a fitting tribute to Correctional Officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. We also remembered those officers who sadly passed away over the past 12 months.

CSNSW Remembrance Day reinforces the risks we face in the line of duty as we remember those officers, their families, friends and colleagues.

Lest we forget.

Contact Details

Nicole Jess – Chairperson
0427 609 199

Jason Charlton – Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976

Thor Sutherland – Country Chairperson
0447 633 476

Natalie Howes – Secretary
0407 011 441

Darren King – Assistant Secretary
0407 935 039

Legal Aid – Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Reforms

Dec 1, 2017

Legal Aid – Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Reforms – December 2017 (PDF version)

As members are aware, Legal Aid NSW is undertaking a restructure in relation to the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Reforms.

The PSA held a meeting at 323 Castlereagh Street, Sydney on 29 November 2017 to discuss this restructure. The PSA thanks members for their attendance and feedback to date.

The PSA is concerned about potential issues arising from such large-scale changes, including the following:

  • Workload and Work, Health & Safety implications arising from such a significant change to service delivery.
  • The changes to roles and the impact this may have upon highly specialised staff.
  • The need for ongoing training, support and professional development for all staff, including supervisors.
  • The need for transparent recruitment practices.
  • The impact of such changes Flexible Working Practices and staff requiring reasonable adjustments.

The PSA is providing feedback to Legal Aid NSW about the proposed changes and is seeking ongoing consultation to monitor the impact of such changes upon our members.

The PSA has also requested Legal Aid to establish a working party with the PSA to ensure ongoing consultation throughout this process, and will update members about any proposed changes.

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.
  • Get involved by being on the Legal Aid DC
  • Attend a meeting at your worksite.

Transport for NSW meeting notice

Dec 1, 2017

Transport for NSW meeting notice – December 2017 (PDF version)

Your union, the PSA will be hosting a members’ meeting at TfNSW, Lee Street. We will be speaking with all staff about a whole host of important issues.

Tuesday, 12 December


Yiribarra Room


  • Change management framework
  • Budget cuts
  • Union campaigns
  • General business

Members and non-members are welcome to come along with their lunch and have their say. The only way you can effectively have a voice is through your union.

It’s time to get involved!

NSW Police – Radio Operations Group

Dec 1, 2017

NSW Police – Radio Operations Group – December 2017 (PDF version)

Result of ballot on management proposal to resolve meal/crib breaks dispute

As members will be aware, NSW Police chose to overturn more than 20 years of custom and practice by reducing meal and crib breaks across ROG in August 2017. This change was a unilateral decision of NSW Police and one the PSA opposed from the very beginning given that these breaks greatly assisted in managing fatigue in what can be a very stressful and challenging workplace.

A previously offered compromise from the PSA that would have seen the retention of 60-minute meal breaks, with crib breaks reduced to 20 minutes, was refused by NSW Police.

Following work bans and the negotiations that followed, NSW Police put a final compromise offer to members, which was circulated last week to vote on.

The ballot offered both options from the letter, as well as a third option to reject the compromise and contest the case in the Industrial Relations Commission.

The result of the ballot is that Option B was the preferred option of members.

The wording of this proposal is:

“Implementation of a 50-minute meal break and 30-minute crib break (’50/30′) on the basis that the ad-hoc breaks that officers currently access at their discretion are subject to approval by their shift supervisor. In effect, this means officers would otherwise not be leaving their desk for ad-hoc breaks (excluding reasonable bathroom breaks) without prior permission from their shift supervisor.”

It is important that members understand that this does not mean they are no longer entitled to ad-hoc breaks. It is a critical part of WHS principles that you have opportunities periodically to get away from the console, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break from the screen. It does, however, require that these breaks are taken with the approval of your shift supervisor. Bathroom breaks will not require the permission of your shift supervisor.

The PSA has written to NSW Police to formally accept the position based on the ballot of members. This will apply to all ROG Centres across NSW.

The strength and resolve of members throughout this process has been commendable. Without the fight of PSA members, 50/20 meal/crib breaks would have been introduced across the Command in January 2017.

A union workplace is a stronger and fairer workplace – talk to your colleagues about joining the PSA!


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