PSA wins redundancy rights for public sector workers

Apr 10, 2014

Today’s ruling by The Court of Appeal has opened the door to redundancy provisions being inserted into awards for public sector workers being battered by the O’Farrell Government said the Public Service Association (PSA).

The Court of Appeal found a Government regulation which excluded redundancy provisions being contained in awards was invalid.

The effect of this decision is to remove the restriction on including redundancy provisions in an award for public sector employees.

The matter began when the PSA applied to vary the award for School Administrative and Support Staff to include redundancy provisions.

The O’Farrell Government successfully objected to this in the Industrial Relations Commission.

The PSA took the matter to the Court of Appeal and today were victorious.

“This is a great win for all PSA members in the NSW public sector,” said PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner.

“This Government has been methodically undermining the job security of their entire workforce but today’s decision provides a safety net for public servants, something that the Government expressly attempted to disallow.”

The PSA is now able to apply to have redundancy provisions inserted in all of its awards.

For further information contact:  (02) 92200982.

Closure fears for respite centreThe Illawarra Mercury

Apr 4, 2014

Dapto Respite Centre workers stop work rally April 2014

Disability workers at Dapto attended a stop work rally on Thursday 3 April, protesting against government plans to privatise their jobs and services.

Read the Illawarra Mercury article HERE

Dapto disability workers stop work over uncertain future for local respite services

Apr 3, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

PSA Media Release Dapto Respite Centre (PDF Version)

Disability workers at the Dapto Respite Centre have stopped work this afternoon over concerns the support service may be closed by the NSW Government, according to the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA).

The Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) has flagged with the union five Disability Respite Centres across NSW that are under review, including:

  • Dapto;
  • Thornleigh;
  • Ashfield;
  • Orange; and
  • Merryland (Newcastle).

PSA Assistant Secretary Steve Turner said there were significant concerns for whether the families and carers of people with a disability, many children with autism and behavioural disorders, would have ongoing access to local respite services.

“Disability workers and families have been left confused by what’s happening with support services at Dapto Respite Centre,” Mr Turner said today.

“The NSW Government should come clean on whether families will keep access to publicly-­‐provided respite services in Dapto or if this critical local support faces imminent closure.

“The uncertain future for five respite centres in NSW are part of a push by the Government to use the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme as a cover to cut jobs and reduce choice of services.

“Our members , more than 3,000 who work in disability, support a strong NDIS that gives people with a disability better services and genuine choice.

“The government might use the rhetoric of choice to justify its actions, however privatising ADHC restricts choice by taking the largest and most experienced disability service provider out of the picture.

“The PSA calls on the NSW Government to come clean on its plans for disability services, including respite centres, before experienced staff are lost and essential support and facilities are compromised,” Mr Turner said.

Note to Editors: Arrangements have been made for the care of Dapto Respite Centre clients during the stop work meeting.

Does a loved one or friend depend upon disability services?

Apr 1, 2014

The O’Farrell Government’s underhanded push to use the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as an excuse to privatise Ageing and Disability Services in NSW is set to cause enormous heartache for existing clients, their families, and friends.

Relatives of ADHC clients as well as PSA members themselves have raised concerns about what the privatisation will mean for their loved ones and their clients.

A major concern is that long term carers with whom clients are comfortable and place their trust, will be replaced by the cheapest possible option and a reduced service driven by profit rather than people.

This is why your union is helping to establish a network of concerned parents, relatives, workers and friends to collectively plan how to deal with the dramatically changing shape of the disability sector in NSW.

While the NDIS is a wonderful concept and should provide improved services and choice to people with disabilities and their families, media reports have already begun to reveal the cracks that are appearing.

The fact is the NDIS is being used to privatise a vital government service.

As a result, people in need in NSW will not necessarily receive the level of treatment that they have been led to expect.

And if the NDIS is unable to deliver in this state there will be no plan B as the O’Farrell Government will have washed its hands completely of disability services.

To join the network contact psacampaigns@psa.asn.au or call the PSA’s member support centre and ask for PSA Organiser Sharon Vassar on 1300 772 679.

Public services or privatisation: where’s the debate?

Mar 28, 2014

Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has a very concerning article about the O’Farrell Government’s plan to outsource thousands of public service jobs.

The article specifically mentions Roads and Maritime Services which is still reeling from major job cuts.

The question that must be asked is: if this Government really believes cutting public service jobs is in the public’s best interest, then why the secrecy?

What we do know is:

  • That last year the O’Farrell Government spent half a billion dollars on Labour Hire (Contract 100). This does not include all outsourcing expenses as many of these costs fall under a range of other line items.
  • There has been no evidence provided by the Government to demonstrate that outsourcing resulted in either cost savings or improved provision of public services.
  • That the West Australian Government has had to reconsider its outsourcing of some roads jobs as there was no longer sufficient in house expertise to interpret whether the contracts being proposed by contractors were practical or provided value for money.
  • That in light of recent corruption inquiries, the role of this state’s public servants is becoming more and more important to the people of NSW. It is clear that having a robust and professional public service provides the thin blue line between the state’s assets and potential corruption. The separation of powers is sacrosanct and cannot be outsourced.

The arrogance of the O’Farrell Government in the way it treats its employees is only surpassed by their absolute determination to ignore transparent evidence based decision making.

We call on all members, their families and the community to demand that this Government becomes accountable for its decisions and starts to explain which direction are we headed when it comes to public services.

It’s about time Premier O’Farrell came clean about his plans for the NSW public service.

To get involved in the PSA’s Defending Public Services Campaign, send an email to psacampaigns@psa.asn.au

Read today’s Sydney Morning Herald article HERE

In Solidarity
Anne Gardiner
General Secretary
Public Service Association of NSW

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