Joint unions concerned about new Enterprise Agreement proposal

Sep 21, 2017

Joint unions concerned about new Enterprise Agreement proposal – September 2017 (PDF version)

After months of further delays, a clearer proposal has been released by Water NSW and approved by the NSW Government that contains a range of proposals that are of significant concern. In particular, the complex pay proposal seems to be full of holes with the potential for members to receive little or no pay increases.

The officials for the CPSU NSW, Australian Services Union (ASU) and Professionals Australia (PA) met to discuss the proposals and review how the Unions could respond.

The next Bargaining Meeting is scheduled for 25-26 September. The Joint Unions will then know more details about the proposals, and any potential changes the Unions win, after these dates. What we do know so far from their complex offer is below.

We need your feedback! After seeking further information and clarification from Water NSW, the Unions will be scheduling meetings with members and potential members to gauge how members are responding to the proposal. It is really important that members and potential members get involved so the Unions can ensure we get the best deal that is suitable for the Unions’ membership.

The cuts to conditions that we know about so far are:

Only one guaranteed pay rise! The proposal offers an initial 2% based on the 30 June 2017 salaries. For former DPI and SCA employees, the Fair Work Commission pay rise will be used to off-set the 2%.

Former SWC – 2% 2017

Former DPI – 0.35% 2017

Former SCA – 0.1% 2017

In addition to this, Water NSW is offering one off bonuses each year. This will not increase your base salary but be a lump sum. The badly named STI (Short Term Incentives) may provide a bonus to some employees based on performance.

The current State Water enterprise agreement has a trial performance based salary scheme. In the first year, many employees received the increases. After the budget was impacted, the numbers of employees getting the further increases reduced significantly.

And there is more! There are no steps within the “Band Range” for the top three level classifications, and no steps in the “Grades” for the first 7 level classifications. The additional 2% increase to base salary applies to the Band and Grades, not the individuals.

Rather than move up each step every year, employees pay may increase by the 2% (based on performance) and may progress higher within their Band or Grade. How this happens is not clear, as progression (increases to base pay of more than 2%) is variable.

For 296 employees, pay rises to their base salary will be 1% or 0% meaning any additional income would be from getting an STI, as one off payments. For some employees on ‘legacy range’ who are not ‘above range’, they may get an increase of their base salary of up to 1.7% if their performance is ‘brilliant’.

Former DPI and SCA employees to still move to 36 hour weeks with no increase in pay. This has already been rejected by the Unions as not acceptable, and remains as part of the Water NSW proposal.


The Unions will be meeting with Water NSW on the 25-26 September to discuss and clarify their proposal. Members’ meetings will be scheduled following this so we can inform you about the proposal, and get members’ feedback and input to how you want the Unions to respond.

If members overwhelmingly reject the proposal, then the Unions may be asking members to consider possible Industrial action. Members from DPI and SCA have certainty with conditions and pay rises, and SWC members only conditions and no pay rises. SWC members should also be afforded at least the 2.5% that the rest of the government services get.

Industrial Action under the National System requires the Unions to formally ballot all members, through a Protected Action Ballot Order, or PABO. Often just the process of members endorsing a Protected Action Ballot is enough to show management that employees are serious in demanding a better offer.

Over the coming weeks, the Unions will be consulting with members about the proposal by Water NSW to see if members accept or reject their offer. Where members strongly reject the employer’s package we can discuss the next steps members can take to build a strong response across the membership to ensure a better outcome is achieved for everyone.

LMBR update No. 6 2017

Sep 21, 2017

LMBR update No. 6 2017 – September 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA holds regular meetings with the Department on LMBR and this bulletin provides a brief update on the outcome from those meetings.

Current LMBR issues

  • Cash flow budgeting

The PSA has been advised that SAMs are creating annual budgets (cash flow budgeting). That is above SAMs’ statement of duties. Cash flow budgeting is the responsibility of the Principal and cannot be delegated to SAS staff.

The PSA is seeking a clarification from the Department on the specific roles of the Principal and SAM under LMBR.


Concerns have been raised about the extra workload on SAMs/SAOs created by FIORI.

The Department advised there are 2 issues with FIORI in relation to audit requirements.

Firstly, FIORI’s access is to specific screens governed by the designation of the user. Currently, this is not working and a user has full access to all 7 screens and that has caused workload problems. It was designed for a SAO to input data of a purchase on one screen, a SAM to approve it on another and payment by Shared Services a third screen etc.

Secondly, there is no clear guidance on what specific records need to be filed for audit compliance. The Audit Unit have audited the 229 Schools and from that they will develop further advice to schools.

  • Finding QRGs

The PSA raised concerns that there are far too many separate forms in different platforms and requested a printable flow chart showing where specific forms are located in the system.

The Department advised the QRG Deployment Team will be transferred to LMBR Support at the end of 2017. They will review the storage and access of forms and it is unknown what that will look like or when it will be introduced.

  • Finding reports

The Report module is not in alphabetical order and members have suggested that the top 5 reports should be at the top with a link to an Adobe session. Preferably, the reports would be grouped into classes, for example, Assets.

The Department advised it would find out if our request can be achieved.

  • Working With Children Check (WWCC)

The PSA raised concerns about the SAM/SAO requirement to enter the details each time persons with WWCC attend schools. It seems practicable that those person’s details are entered once in EBS4 and each time they attend the school their details are found and entered for the particular date.

The Department is to investigate if this is legally feasible.

Member feedback

Your feedback to us forms an important part of our ongoing discussions with the Department to address the ongoing matters with LMBR. Members can send feedback directly through our website HERE or by email to

NSW Police Re-Engineering update

Sep 21, 2017

NSW Police Re-Engineering update – September 2017 (PDF version)

Due to the lack of information and the constant rumours about re-engineering, the PSA has written to the Police Minister asking him to release any information about what decisions have been made about your jobs.

We have asked for this by Friday, 22 September. If nothing has been decided, we have asked for all the rumours and off the record comments to the media to stop.

You can read the letter HERE.


Look out for meeting notices and bulletins and advise the PSA of any developments and matters of concern.

Please remember that the PSA can only represent its members.

Call the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 or email with ‘Police Re-Engineering’ as the subject.

Ministry of Health to develop Social Media Policy – a win for staff

Sep 21, 2017

Ministry of Health to develop Social Media Policy – a win for staff – September 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA attended a briefing on 18 September 2017 about the realignment of the Strategic Communications and Engagement Branch.

The new structure has been approved by the Secretary following a Change Management Plan and consultation process. This appears to be one of the few areas in the public sector experiencing an increase in staffing resources.

The PSA noted that it had been decided to convert a new Principal Media Adviser position from a contract to an ongoing role.

While this is welcome news, it needs to be replicated across the Ministry to reduce the current overuse of contractors.

The PSA’s Industrial Officer for the Ministry continues to be available to discuss issues of concern about the realignment with members.

The PSA will also be making further representations to ensure that external advertising of vacant positions is a last resort.

The PSA made a submission during the consultation period and requested “that priority is given to developing a comprehensive social media policy supported by guidelines and training for staff across the Ministry”.

The PSA had previously raised the necessity of a social media policy for the Ministry at a meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee.

We were originally advised that the Code of Conduct was adequate.

The Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement advised that a social medial policy would now be developed and gave a commitment to consultation with the PSA.

The Ministry conceded that it was not possible to have such a strong focus on the social media in the new structure without a supporting policy framework.

As the Ministry 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 that our members in the Ministry 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 “liking” or “re-tweeting” comments which have negative impact on your employer’s reputation. They may imply agreement.
  • If you have open social media, think about how the photos you post may be perceived by your current employers or prospective employers.***

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

PSA members have access to advice, support and representation, either via the PSA’s Member Support Centre (ph 1300 772 679) or by contacting your local delegates, the PSA’s Industrial Officer or Senior Organiser.

Julie Westacott – PSA delegate

John Bertacco – PSA delegate

Peter Gilfedder – PSA delegate

Carmel McKeough – Industrial Officer

Siobhan Callinan – Senior Organiser

Help maintain a strong union voice. Ask your colleagues to stand with you by joining the PSA.

DPI Water member bulletin

Sep 21, 2017

DPI Water member bulletin – September 2017 (PDF version)

The PSA notes the recent message from Simon Smith, Secretary of Department of Industry to staff advising of changes, following the interim report by Ken Matthews on water administration in NSW.

We note in particular the following changes:

  • Lands and Forestry Division will become Crown Lands and Water Division
  • Forest Policy, Research and Development will move out of that division and fall under DPI Strategy and Policy within Department of Primary Industries.
  • DPI Water will move out of the Department of Primary Industries and in to the new Crown Lands and Water Division

Whilst the Secretary anticipates limited structural disruption, the PSA has written to him to seek his ongoing commitment to consultation with the union where changes are considered that effect staff.

Are your details correct?

If you have moved to WaterNSW please contact the PSA to ensure your contact details are correct.

WaterNSW is currently in the middle of enterprise bargaining. It is anticipated that a proposal will soon be provided. The PSA want to make sure all those members effected have a say when it comes time to vote.

To check your details are up to date, please visit

Alternatively you can call the PSA membership section on 1300 772 679.

Rural Fire Service PSA members meeting

Sep 21, 2017

Rural Fire Service PSA members meeting – September 2017 (PDF version)

Thursday 28 September

12.30pm – 1.30pm
(PSA Senior Organiser Bart McKenzie
will be in the room until 2.00pm)

Headquarters Lidcombe

Mountainash East Meeting Room – Ground Floor


  • Current RFS issues update

It’s time to get involved!

For more information contact the PSA on 1300 772 679 or email


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