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PSA writes to Housing minister about privatisation

Feb 21, 2017

Following the support of Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser in State Parliament opposing the outsourcing of Housing NSW, PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright has written to the Minister, Pru Goward.

You can read that letter HERE.

Fraser unphased as Coast hit hard by Housing NSW cuts

Feb 6, 2017

PSA media release:

The mid north coast will bear the brunt of plans to slash almost 200 jobs and close offices of Housing NSW, without a word of protest from the National’s Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said the Public Service Association (PSA).

The effects will be felt from Woolgoolga to Port Macquarie with the region hit by 25% of the total state wide cuts.

Former Minister for Social Housing, Brad Hazzard announced in October 2016 the state will put to tender the transfer on a leasehold basis of 18,000 public housing properties, placing management in non-government /private hands.

Rather than this transfer, with associated job losses, being spread evenly aross the state, the mid north coast is one of four regions where everything will go.

“The National’s  Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser has been very vocal about the importance of jobs and services in the region,” said PSA Assistant General Secretary, Troy Wright.

“Now with Public Housing about to be literally wiped off the map in the area he has not said a word.”

“The question is why is the mid North Coast being singled out and hit with a quarter of the job cuts in Housing across the state?”

The only winners will be investors and developers, not the people of NSW with some familiar names emerging.

“Serco, best known for the operation of private prisons, have, somewhat ironically  already expressed an interest in a stake in the outsourced public housing market,” said Troy Wright.

In addition to arranging critical accommodation for some of society’s most disadvantaged, Housing NSW workers also provide comprehensive support to tenants enabling access to a wide range of disability and other services.

The job cuts and office closures will have a devastating impact on the mid north coast.

“Job cuts in regional areas are felt far more deeply in rural regions than in metropolitan areas due to the direct impact on local economies and communities,” said Troy Wright.

Offices will also be closed, jobs slashed and properties transferred in the following areas:

  • Hunter New England District, excluding the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas
  • Northern Sydney District, excluding the Ivanhoe estate
  • Shoalhaven Local Government Area.

Privatisation: Update to members

Oct 17, 2016

Privatisation: Update to members – 17 October 2016 (PDF Version)

In our last bulletin we advised members the PSA held a telephone conference with Department of Family and Community Services on Thursday 6 October 2016 about the Government’s decision to transfer 18,000 properties to the private sector over the next three years.

The Department has advised:

  • the tender process will commence in early 2017 and transfers of properties will commence in mid-2017
  • the transfer will take three years

That properties will be transferred in the following districts:

  • Mid North Coast
  • Hunter New England District, excluding the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas
  • Northern Sydney District, excluding the Ivanhoe estate
  • Shoalhaven Local Government area

Impacts for members – PSA fighting for genuine consultation

The Department confirmed the plan to delete 190 positions and close offices in the affected areas after the property transfer.

Your union opposes the privatisation of Public Housing. The PSA will also seek ongoing consultation to protect members’ interests throughout this process.

During the telephone conference, the PSA sought further information in relation to the location and grading of roles to be deleted. Some of this information has been provided by the Department and the PSA will continue to seek information during the consultation process.

The PSA sought consultation about the change-management processes and a meeting will be held on Tuesday 18 October 2016 to commence the consultation process.

PSA pushes for paid time meetings

Due to the serious impacts on staff from this privatisation, the PSA sought paid time meetings with staff. The Department agreed to consider your union’s proposals and we will report back to members on this as information becomes available.

The PSA has already commenced site visits, focusing on impacted sites and is in the process of compiling member feedback.

Request a visit to your worksite

Contact your Organising Team to set up meetings with the PSA. You can email us at FACSOrganising@psa.asn.au to request a meeting. Make sure you include your name, contact details and work address.

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO?

  • Attend management meetings about the transfer
  • Provide feedback to Housing delegates and the PSA Members Support Centre
  • Attend PSA meetings throughout the consultation process
  • Get active in your workplace, become a PSA contact or set up a privatisation working party with your colleagues

Protest to Stop the Secret Sell Off of NSW Public Services

Sep 8, 2016

If the NSW Government gets its way, Land and Property Information, Trustee and Guardian services, TAFEs, Sport and Recreation Centres, transport services, gaols, housing, disability care, child protection and valuable public assets will be lost to private, unaccountable interests.

However, details of how this will affect the people of this state are shrouded in secrecy.

The PSA encourages all members to attend a protest on Wednesday 21 September to call on the NSW Government to Stop the Secret Sell Off.

Protest
21 September 2016
12:30pm to 1:30pm
NSW Parliament
Macquarie Street, Sydney

The PSA will have guest speakers from ADHC, LPI, Sport and Recreation, TAFE, Housing and more addressing the rally and calling on the NSW Government to Stop the Secret Sell Off.

Members from ADHC will also be demanding the Baird Government debate the twenty five thousand signature petition they have ignored in their attempt to secretly sell off our services.

Members should attend in their lunch, take leave or utilise flex-time to attend the protest.

Serco positioning to take over public housing

Aug 31, 2016

Social Housing in NSW: A discussion paper for input and comment – Read HERE.

Housing NSW and LAHC Newcastle and Hunter District update

Feb 26, 2016

Housing NSW and LAHC Newcastle and Hunter District update – February 2016 (PDF version)

Election of workplace delegate

In accordance with PSA Rule 30 (e) (i), a meeting of PSA members in HNSW and LAHC in the Newcastle and Hunter District was held on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 to elect a workplace delegate.

Congratulations to Lynelda Rowe, who was elected unanimously.

Members have signalled their faith in her ability to promote their best interests in the workplace and to ensure their issues are brought forward.

Lynelda is currently based in the HNSW Office at 309 Charlestown Road, Charlestown.

Among other aspects of her role, Lynelda represents PSA members at the quarterly FACS District Joint Consultative Committee convened by the FACS District Director, Marie New. Members wishing to raise issues of broad concern at the JCC should contact Lynelda at Lynelda.Rowe@facs.nsw.gov.au

Member Support Centre

The PSA offers support through a number of avenues. It is always desirable to resolve workplace and individual issues at the local level. In many instances, delegates can provide advice and support in workplace matters.

However, if you have followed all the Departmental guidelines for resolving workplace issues without success, you should register the issue with the PSA’s Member Support Centre (MSC) on 1300 772 679.

Member Advocates will provide advice and assistance, as required. Registering your issue with the MSC is the first step in the process of attempting to satisfactorily and fairly resolve your issue if all other attempts have failed.

New social housing policy

Recent announcements by the NSW Government about Future Directions for Social Housing will have implications for our members.

We are keen to hear from you about the ways your work practices and conditions are being affected, and how you want the PSA to respond to the changes.

If you would like a PSA Organiser to hold a meeting in your workplace, discuss this with your colleagues and email your contact details and office location to facsorganising@psa.asn.au

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