Water NSW Interim report by the NSW Ombudsmen

Nov 16, 2017

Water NSW Interim report by the NSW Ombudsmen – November 2017 (PDF version)

The NSW Ombudsman Interim Report on Water Compliance and Enforcement was handed down yesterday. A key aspect of what the Ombudsman has been looking into, and will continue to look into, is:

“Whether the water compliance and enforcement function has been properly understood, supported and resourced within Government; and whether the function has suffered rather than benefitted from a frequent history of administrative restructuring.”

This suggests the ongoing intervention into DPI Water, State Water Corporation and other water regulators as well as the persistent restructuring that changes in management seems to bring, is one key aspect of the problems with water compliance and enforcement.

CPSU NSW members have reported that compliance-related functions have been removed, and replaced and removed again over the years. That, with new upper and middle management changes that occur on a semi-regular basis, means changes are inevitable and these changes do not always bring about better outcomes in relation to compliance and enforcement.

The forced transfer last year of employees and related functions from DPI to Water NSW was a rushed moved the union does not consider was well thought out. It has resulted in ongoing major changes to personnel directly related to water regulation and compliance.

CPSU NSW members are dedicated to their work, dedicated to ensuring the highest level of integrity and compliance in our activities in supporting the people of NSW. The mismanagement of agencies, departments and years and years’ worth of budget cuts, ‘efficiency dividends’ and rolling restructures have taken their toll.

You can read the media release HERE and the full report HERE.

The NSW Ombudsman reports that:

“Over the past two decades the administration of functions related to water management and regulation have been restructured and moved between different government agencies close to twenty times. At least eight of those changes in the last fifteen years were major restructures that resulted in substantial staff relocations and retrenchments, carving up of functions, splitting of departments, amalgamation of units and establishment of new agencies. Since 2003 when the Department of Land and Water Conservation was abolished, there has been a restructure involving water management functions approximately every two years.

The opinion of the Ombudsman’s office is that the impact of these changes on staff, loss of expertise and corporate knowledge, disruptions to systems and strategy, and continuity of service delivery, have been devastating.”

The report also notes there was significant and consistent under-spend on compliance activities of about $1.9 million per year (less than 30 per cent of the budget) over the period 2012-2016, even after the Ombudsman had repeatedly indicated they were under-resourced. There was also a substantial drop in compliance activity following the Transformation to WaterNSW.

Powerhouse Museum bulletin

Nov 15, 2017

Powerhouse Museum bulletin – November 2017 (PDF version)

Union members at the Powerhouse have been buffeted by an avalanche of politics, resource cuts and heavy-handed treatment. This is the time to fight back.

Next year will be an important year in the history of the Powerhouse and MAAS. The PSA is having a members’ meeting to discuss what we can do to make things better in your workplace in 2018 and beyond.

At this meeting, we will discuss the union’s involvement in the proposed move to Parramatta, the fair pay case the PSA is waging on behalf of the VSOs, and the ongoing work health and safety issues members are confronting.

More than anything, we want to hear from you. The actions we take together will be determined by the environment and conditions that you work in. The power of the union comes from our ability to act together; so come to this meeting and have your say:

Tuesday, 28 November, 2017

Theatrette (Old Target Theatre)

12:30 – 1:30

We encourage all members to invite one non-member to this meeting and to include them in our community.

If you would like further information about this meeting, contact your organiser, Harry Wall, on 0419 607 894 or hwall@psa.asn.au.

Rostering Principles

Nov 15, 2017

Rostering Principles – November 2017 (PDF version)

The Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), on 30 August 2017, agreed with the PSA/CPSU NSW and ordered the Community Living Award (CLA) to be varied to include the Rostering Principles. This means that any act in contravention of the Rostering Principles is a breach of the CLA.

Members are advised to consult the Rostering Principles to clarify situations relating to rosters. Each group home should have a copy of them. To download a copy of the CLA please click HERE and Rostering Principles please click HERE.

One of the issues of concern to members is the filling of vacant shifts both for vacant shifts not exceeding five working days and vacant shifts exceeding five days. The Rostering Principles state:

“For vacancies not exceeding five days are to be filled in the following order:

  1. Additional hours offered to permanent and/or temporary part-time employees.
  2. Engagement of casual employees at ordinary rates, i.e. not overtime work.
  3. Overtime
  4. Agency staff.

For vacancies exceeding five days are to be filled in the following order:

  1. Permanent part-time staff to be offered a temporary increase in hours.
  2. New temporary contract of employment or variation of contract for existing temporary staff or may be administered by way of payment of additional hours.
  3. Casual employees at ordinary rates (not overtime).
  4. Overtime
  5. Agency staff.”

In both instances, engagement of agency staff is the last resort for filling of vacancies.

Members are encouraged to raise any breach of the Rostering Principles initially with their supervisor and if there is no resolution, contact the PSA/CPSU at DisabilityCPSUNSW@psa.asn.au.

SES State bulletin

Nov 15, 2017

SES State bulletin – November 2017 (PDF version)

Operations award

The PSA, along with your delegates, has been in negotiation with the State Emergency Service (SES) in relation to the State Operations Centre Award since February 2017.

The PSA was presented with a new Award, Crown Employees (STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE) – Continuous Shift Workers Award 2017 in April and upon review there were a few areas of concern which required the PSA to seek independent legal advice.

This advice was discussed with your delegate representatives and we are satisfied with the Draft Crown Employees (STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE) – Continuous Shift Workers Award as presented by SES view copy HERE.

The PSA now asks members to vote on the Crown Employees (STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE) – Continuous Shift Workers Award and this can be done confidentiality HERE.

Members are requested to complete the survey by 21 November 2017.

Union meets with families over disability privatisation – NBN News

Nov 15, 2017

Families impacted by the privatisation of disability services are meeting in Newcastle tonight.

A public forum is being hosted by unions, to allow residents in the Hunter to voice concerns.

“So we’re hearing from our members and from the community that there is massive shortfalls in funding and emerging risks and gaps in service provision,” say Kylie McKelvie from the Public Service Association.

The Public Service Association says all disability services in Newcastle will be privatised from December 1.

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