Supreme Court of NSW PSA members’ meeting

Dec 1, 2017

Supreme Court of NSW PSA members’ meeting – December 2017 (PDF version)

Tuesday, 5 December 2017


Conference Room, Level 5


  • Report-back of 30.11.2017 Joint Consultative Committee
  • Management proposed flex agreement working party
  • Update on Justice Flexible Working Hours Policy
  • General business

Anything raised will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online at or by seeing your PSA Delegates for membership forms.

For more information contact the PSA on 1300 772 679.

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

CPSU NSW members vote NO

Dec 1, 2017

CPSU NSW members vote NO – December 2017 (PDF version)

As a democratic Union, CPSU NSW members collectively decide on the pay and conditions they want negotiated, and what will or won’t be acceptable for them. Before the union can agree or reject a final proposal by the employer, we survey our members to see if the membership is prepared to accept or reject any offer to change their pay and conditions.

Water NSW has put out a lot of information about its proposal, most of which is designed to highlight the positives and minimise the negative impacts. The CPSU NSW has also provided a wide range of information and feedback to our members to keep them informed of what is being negotiated, proposed and background information on the actual impact of the employer’s offer. You can find that on our website HERE.

This week the CPSU NSW has surveyed our members across the state, asking them if they endorse or reject the proposed enterprise agreement as offered by Water NSW. This survey has resulted in 87 per cent of CPSU NSW members reject the proposed enterprise agreement.

There are many reasons why CPSU NSW members are overwhelmingly VOTING NO on this proposal. A formal and detailed explanation has been provided to Water NSW which you can read by clicking HERE.

In summary, the following are some key issues that members felt strongly about and why members have reported they are voting no:

  • Increased weekly hours from 35 to 36 without any compensation. This negates some of the pay rises being offered
  • Redundancy provision that can be changed at any time by the NSW Government, and a reduction in the retention period from 12 months to three months
  • Flexible working arrangements to be subject to application and approval for all accrual and taking of flextime.
  • Unfair pay rises for hundreds of employees, at one per cent a year or zero per cent if they are on a performance improvement plan, or for those within bands or are new employees
  • Reductions in classifications as the Mercer CED Points allocated to each position has significantly changed, and often reduced below their previous assessment
  • Comparable positions within the NSW public service will continue to be paid more and more than at Water NSW
  • Management positions (those above the classification) are paid more than their counterparts in the NSW public service.

It is important to recognise there are some improvements

  • Some employees, but not all, will receive two per cent pay rises, but this can be removed for any on a performance improvement plan
  • Some employees will have progression through the “zones” within their Grade or Band, providing additional salary increases, however this is subject to performance measures
  • Sick leave is increased from 15 days to 20 days, to bring it into lines with former Sydney Catchment Authority employees
  • Maternity leave is now available for the primary carer, regardless of gender
  • Defence Force Reserves leave has additional leave available provided at the equivalent rate to the Commonwealth Government’s employer support payment scheme – meaning no cost to Water NSW.

CPSU NSW members encourage everyone to VOTE NO next week. If a majority of employees who vote reject the proposal, then negotiations will continue. Your current conditions remain as they are, with the State Water Corp Enterprise Agreement continuing, along with all the State Copied Awards.

It is important to also recognise that for employees on the State Copied Awards, the Fair Work Commission will be providing pay rises while there continues to be no changes to your conditions.

To find out more about the CPSU NSW application to the Fair Work Commission, to clarify the Decision to ensure the full 3.3 per cent pay rise is passed on effective from 1 July 2017 you can see the submissions from the CPSU, ACTU and ASU HERE.

The employer’s responses are due today, and CPSU NSW has a week to reply to any submissions. The Fair Work Commission will then make a decision “on the papers” meaning no formal hearing, and a fast decision can be provided. The CPSU NSW has a very strong argument that the full 3.3 per cent should be passed on.

Members have reported that Water NSW is committed to passing on the full 3.3 per cent (if/when the decision is made in the next few weeks) and that this will be the salary members transfer across with. The union does not have this commitment in writing nor have we been informed officially.

CPSU NSW believes a much better pay and classification system can be designed; one that reflects and rewards professionals, experts and technical staff in a way that maintains comparable salaries with the public service. This will enable employees to move between the department, other agencies and Water NSW without major losses to income, salaries and conditions.

With everyone working together we can show Water NSW that employees demand better protections of our conditions, and an improve pay and classification system provides fair and equal pay rises for all employees.


You can support this campaign by:

  • FORWARDING this email to all your colleagues
  • JOINING the CPSU NSW online HERE.
  • Asking your colleagues to DEMAND A BETTER AGREEMENT and

Crown Solicitor’s Office bulletin

Nov 30, 2017

Crown Solicitor’s Office bulletin – December 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA and your delegates met with CSO management on Friday 24 November. This meeting followed the direction by Commissioner Newall conciliating our dispute at the Industrial Relations Commission on 2 November.

The direction was the CSO consult with the PSA on ‘industrial matters’ arising from the proposed open plan office. Commissioner Newall defined ‘industrial matters’ under Section 6 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996. These are matters or things affecting or relating to work done or to be done, or the privileges, rights, duties or obligations of employees and employers. The section provides a non-exhaustive list of examples that includes conditions of employment (that includes manner of work). Commissioner Newall also stated that the Commission has no jurisdiction to involve itself in the Property NSW policy underpinning the CSO’s move to open plan. However, it is up to the parties should they wish to consult about that.

We raised:

  • Specific operational requirements per the Property NSW policy

CSO management was ‘bewildered’ we hadn’t raised operational requirements such as confidentiality of Cabinet-in-confidence matters, terrorist threats and police witnesses on witness protection previously. We indicated these matters had in fact been raised in negotiations since September. CSO undertook that if senior solicitors from each team raised ‘specific operational requirements’ support enclosed offices with their directors, and those directors in turn raise these issues with Tom Gilmartin, these concerns would be considered. We have sought that these issues are discussed at future meetings.

  • Risk assessments

We are concerned that risks faced by solicitors working in open plan will not be properly considered by the CSO. It understands general health and safety risks such as the proposed temporary relocation to Bridge Street and risks of lifting boxes. It appears to be unaware of specific risks solicitors may face working in open plan, including psychological risks. We will review the material provided at the Wednesday 29 November risk assessment workshop. We have sought risk assessments to be a standing agenda item at future meetings. This may become the basis of future dispute as risk assessments are clearly an industrial matter.

  • CSO indemnifying solicitor’s duty of confidentiality

We are greatly concerned about solicitors working on confidential matters in open plan. CSO advised a protocol will be put in place requiring solicitors to not open confidential communication until they are in a private room they have booked. We advised the obvious problems where confidential information is urgent and private rooms are not available. The CSO must indemnify its solicitors fully from possible breaches of confidentiality due to the open plan. This is a further issue for future meetings and potentially grounds for future dispute.

  • CSO taking into account lower productivity when assessing work performance

We are further concerned that open plan will lower solicitors’ productivity. That is obvious with unpacking and packing up files at the start and end of the day. The CSO does not consider that the open plan will reduce concentration and hence no productivity loss. We contend there will be and work performance may be assessed as requiring remedial action. Again, the CSO says such open plan issues will be addressed by protocols. We contend that any policy dealing with unsatisfactory performance must be amended with lower productivity. This is another issue for future meeting and grounds for future dispute.

We have written to the CSO seeking consultation on the above, and the recently released architect’s sketch plans. We will advise further after that meeting. In the interim we strongly advise that you put forward to your senior solicitor ‘specific operational requirements’ on why you require an enclosed office. Your senior solicitor should raise that with their director. You should also provide a copy of your reasons to your delegates. We will then have an idea if directors are raising these with Tom Gilmartin.

NSW Police Re-engineering – Local Area Commands

Nov 30, 2017

NSW Police Re-engineering – Local Area Commands – December 2017 (PDF version)

As members are aware, NSW Police announced the amalgamation of Regional Local Area Commands on 23 November 2017.

Despite requests, NSW Police has not advised the PSA of the timetable for implementation of regional re-engineering and will advise members as soon as this is received. NSW Police has also not advised the PSA of the model of the Regional Local Area Commands.

The PSA is concerned it is not being advised of timetables and developments in re-engineering, despite the agreed consultation processes. The PSA has advised NSW Police of its obligation to consult and will hold Police accountable in relation to these obligations.

As previously advised the PSA negotiated a Placement Strategy for our members. This is designed to support redeployment and placement of all affected staff where possible.

The PSA has also sought the following:-

  • That no staff be declared excess until the process has finished.
  • That staff be considered for all appropriate at-grade roles.
  • That NSW Police pay transfer costs for eligible members who are forced to relocate.
  • That NSW Police consider VR job-swap arrangements to ensure that our members retain jobs in NSW Police.

These requests are being considered and the PSA will update members if these requests are agreed to.

Metropolitan Local Area Commands

The PSA is aware that NSW Police has advised staff of the results of the recent priority assessments for LAMS and Executive Officers.

The PSA will advocate on behalf of individual members who have been affected by this process. The PSA seeks feedback from members who would like individual representation from the PSA.

The PSA is seeking to protect our members throughout this process and ensure that NSW Police processes are superior to NSW Government Restructure Policies and ensure that our members keep their roles in NSW Police.

Any members who are seeing restructures or changes happening in their areas should advise the PSA immediately by calling the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 or send an email to with ‘Police Engineering’ as the subject.

You have a right to have your union, the PSA, involved in the process to represent your interests.

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 by becoming a local union delegate or contact.
  • Get involved by being on the Police Departmental Committee.
  • Attend a meeting at your worksite.

Stalemate: CSU bargaining falters over conditions claims and end date

Nov 30, 2017

Stalemate – CSU bargaining falters over conditions claims and end date – December 2017 (PDF version)

Bargaining at Charles Sturt University has failed to progress despite efforts to address differences over academic workloads, academic casual conversion, indigenous employment, redeployment and the expiry date of any future enterprise agreement.

The parties met again for a full day bargaining session on Monday, 27 November but were unable to substantially progress discussions on key stumbling blocks. CSU indicated the university may put an offer directly to staff without the endorsement of all bargaining representatives.

In light of the distance between the university and academic union representatives in relation to those outstanding matters, the CPSU NSW has urged the Vice Chancellor to pay an immediate administrative increase in salaries as any settlement appears unlikely prior to at least February 2018.

The last union-won increase was paid by the university prior to Christmas in 2016.

The parties are scheduled to meet again on 8 December 2017.

Please note, all members of the CPSU NSW are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body for, and resources and manages, the CPSU NSW.

National Parks and Wildlife Service member update

Nov 30, 2017

National Parks and Wildlife Service member update – December 2017 (PDF version)

Members may be aware of the tragic events yesterday, which resulted in the death of a worker and serious injury to two others in the Blue Mountains.

The PSA offers its condolences to the families affected by this tragedy, and also to those who may have worked with and known the individuals involved.

SafeWork NSW has been notified of the incident and an extensive investigation will be undertaken.

The PSA wishes to remind members they are able to access support services provided by the agency (such as EAP) or they can contact the PSA.

Members can also contact the Workers Health Centre on 02 9749 7666 to access further support services, or they can visit for a number of helpful factsheets.

Stewart Little
General Secretary


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