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

Mobility pathway a road to nowhere

Sep 20, 2017

Mobility pathway a road to nowhere – September 2017 (PDF version)

Your PSA representatives met with counterparts from Treasury and the Department on Monday 18 September regarding the mobility pathway.

The PSA has been literally inundated with responses from members in recent weeks and months regarding their frustrations as to how the mobility pathway is operating. Given it is clearly struggling at present, the PSA also has grave concerns with respect to its capacity to deliver later in the year when members subject to current and future FACS restructures join it.

The PSA used the meeting to outline members’ concerns, including inadequate matches to jobs, inappropriate matches to jobs, inadequate information being provided to members when they are matched to jobs, the “quarantining” of frontline positions, lack of contact from Career Placement Officers (CPOs) and the stress and anxiety the process is creating for our members.

What became quickly apparent however is the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has almost a blind faith in the capacity of the mobility pathway and its contracted providers, INS.

There was an immediate dispute as to the success rate of the program. The DPC claims there are far fewer participants who have been placed at a much higher rate than what the PSA was previously advised at a meeting with INS on 23 August 2017. The PSA has demanded these figures be provided to us. If the reports the PSA has received are correct and the placement rate of the program is anything like the measly 10 per cent it has been advised, then the viability and value of the program must be questioned.

The PSA attacked the inability of the DPC and INS to force hiring agencies across the public sector to consider FACS employees on the mobility pathway for vacancies. The DPC and Treasury claimed everything that could be done was being done. However, the PSA pointed out that if FACS itself as a hiring agency was choosing to advertise externally and not making what it described as frontline positions available to its own employees on the pathway. What hope was there any other agency or Department would do so? The FACS representative at the meeting claimed to have no knowledge of this decision and has undertaken to look into it.

The PSA also raised the issue of suitable positions that were not being identified for participants, unsuitable positions that were being identified, and, bizarrely, the limited information on a position that was being provided when it was being given to a candidate. DPC and Treasury tried to argue that this information was given by the INS CPO, but the PSA was able to demonstrate through information given by members that this was not the case, and they have agreed to improve this element of the process.

Finally, DPC advised that it had recently undertaken a “review” of INS’s performance and found it to be satisfactory. The PSA made it clear that in the opinion of its members, the results and experience of the mobility pathway bore out a different story.

A repeated theme in negotiations yesterday was the PSA raising concerns of its members and the resultant detrimental impacts the mobility pathway was having on their well-being, and the DPC asking to deal with matters individually to assist those persons better in the program.

The PSA’s position is that it is the mobility pathway that needs to be repaired – not the individuals participating in it.

The mobility pathway as a concept was initially well received by the PSA in good faith as an additional mechanism that would assist members the large volume of members displaced by the restructures and privatisations underway in FACS to remain in public sector employment and minimise redundancies. It was also a test for the much-lauded capability framework introduced in 2014. On both accounts it has been an abject failure, where we hold the genuine concern that it now poses more harm than good by creating unreal and unachievable expectations.

The parties will meet again in two months. The PSA has made it clear that unless there are significant increases in employees getting permanent jobs and improvements in the processes of the mobility pathway, it will consider withdrawing support for the program. We will not stand idly by and allow members to be subjected to a potentially demeaning and demanding experimental process that produces slim prospects of a positive result.

Encourage your colleagues to JOIN the PSA online, or see your delegates for membership forms.

Stronger, Together – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!

University of Sydney Enterprise Bargaining update

Sep 20, 2017

University of Sydney Enterprise Bargaining update – September 2017 (PDF version)

Dear University of Sydney staff colleagues,

On Tuesday 12 September, after close of business, the university revised the Enterprise Agreement offer previously announced to the university staff, and it contacted the CPSU NSW seeking a response.

The offer regarding salary included a flat-rate component. It involved a $500 salary up-lift (a flat-rate pay rise of $500) for HEO levels 1-5 (Professional Staff) and for Academic Levels A and B in July 2018, while deducting the $500 sign-on bonus the university had agreed to pay all staff.

The CPSU NSW had specifically requested any pay offer include a flat rate component to protect the lowest paid staff at the university from cost-of-living pressures. However, as a union exclusively representing Professional Staff, the CPSU NSW was affronted by the university’s offer because it clearly discriminated against Professional Staff – it provided a flat-rate advantage to Academic staff up to level B ($121,000.00 pa), but only for Professional Staff paid up to $80,000.00 a year. We nevertheless resolved to take the university’s offer to our members today for their consideration, together with our advice on its inequity.

Yesterday morning, shambolically, the university advised the CPSU NSW that it had once again changed its offer and asked us to take this further amended offer to our members today. The offer included:

  •  Retention of the $500 sign-on bonus (as previously announced to all staff by the University) for continuing and fixed-term staff (pro-rata for part time staff)
  • 2.1% salary increases to all continuing and fixed-term staff in July 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (as previously announced to all staff by the University)
  • An additional $500 salary ‘uplift’ for Professional Staff at HEO levels 1-6 and Academic Levels up to A step 6. This is a payment that raises your salary level, and not just a bonus.
    • As discussed above, originally this only extended to HEO5 for Professional Staff who currently earn less than $80,000, but at the same time, extended to cover Academic Level B who earn upwards of $120,000. The university has now accepted a more equitable approach towards the flat rate.
  • A temporary extension of redeployment time for Professional Staff made redundant.
    • Under the current Agreement, if your position is declared redundant and you wish to be redeployed, you spend a maximum of 12 weeks in the redeployment pool and if you have not secured a redeployment position you are made involuntarily redundant. If you are a Professional Staff member at HEO1-7 this condition extends your time in the redeployment pool from 12 weeks to nine months, but this condition will only be in effect until December 2019.

Our members have just met and agreed to the following motion:

  • CPSU members accept the university’s salary offer, including currently negotiated conditions and in principle agreements to date during Bargaining, but that this be conditional on:
  1. An undertaking from the university that bargaining continues beyond this decision until the CPSU’s outstanding claims, and the existing in-principle agreements are fully addressed; and
  2. That the Redeployment clause extends to staff up to and including HEO 9; and
  3. The university will bargain in good faith, and that all further negotiations will take place at the bargaining table

The CPSU NSW wishes to highlight to the wider university community the caveats expressed in the above motion. We regard the conduct of the university towards transparent good-faith bargaining over the last few weeks – and especially the last week – to have been severely wanting. Therefore, as a caveat to our acceptance, we have made it a condition that the university continues to negotiate around the bargaining table and in good faith and with appropriate commitments of time to deal with the MANY other unfinished bargaining and drafting matters that do not relate to the financial package but do relate to conditions of employment.

Why we have accepted this motion

The CPSU NSW acknowledges the offer presented to us by the university is not ideal. However, we believe that the overall package would provide a better Enterprise Agreement than has been agreed to at any other Australian university in this round of bargaining and, after much soul-searching and reviewing of the process thus far and its likely future, we feel that the financial package is unlikely to improve beyond its current form.

All our existing conditions have been maintained and there have been some significant wins, including in the following areas: parental leave, gender and pay equity, change management processes, flexible working arrangements, performance and development processes, super for fixed-term staff, management of workplace conduct problems, inter-campus travel, expanded definition of ‘family’ in relation to leave, workload oversight, skills training, professional staff development fund transparency and some (not enough) improvements in relation to casual pay and opportunities to convert to continuing employment.

We acknowledge the problems that remain in many areas, especially for casuals, and our many academic casuals in particular, but it is our judgment, having engaged fully with the process and its many parts and participants, that we have taken matters as far as we believe they can practicably be taken this time around.

The CPSU NSW will be releasing further details of the significant wins and improvements to our members later this week and over the course of any future negotiations. You can JOIN the CPSU NSW online HERE to receive these updates.

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

JOIN the CPSU NSW on Facebook at

To unsubscribe please respond to the email with the subject unsubscribe.

University of Technology Enterprise Bargaining update

Sep 20, 2017

University of Technology Enterprise Bargaining update – September 2017 (PDF version)

The CPSU NSW negotiating team met with UTS HR Management for Bargaining Meeting 6 on August 29, after the scheduled meeting on 23 August was cancelled (by UTS management) when the two unions arrived for negotiations.

Both unions have tabled half their clauses and are waiting on a response from UTS management. The academics and the CPSU NSW are both adamant regarding a Joint Consultative Committee clause. As we both tabled different JCC clauses, we were all ready to negotiate these into the one clause. Most universities in NSW have Consultative Committees and the Public Service of NSW does also. Management has continually said no to a JCC as it argues it already consults in various circumstances, with specific communications around things such as workplace change. The CPSU NSW argues a forum such as a JCC would cover all issues on campus that will affect all employees, not continually “putting out spot fires”. This would benefit all parties.

Bargaining Meeting 7 was held on 12 September. The university is proposing internships, filled by students become paid positions, with supervision, development plans and feedback. The CPSU NSW says these internships should be brought into the Enterprise Agreement with a clause constructed and pay rates listed in a Schedule. The university has agreed to work on the wording for this clause. UTS has also proposed:

  • Clause 33.5, Paid Parental Leave. A change to “Primary Carer” which will mean no medical evidence is needed to prove that the female parent is unable to care for the child. Can be either parent as primary carer.
  • Clause 34, Community Leave. NAIDOC week. Increase the days from 1 day to 5, even though the additional days could, in the present Agreement, be accessed through Personal Leave.
  • Clause 35, Domestic Violence Leave. UTS said it will get rid of the requirement for evidence documents, but will not increase the days from five days. The CPSU NSW pointed out the word “paid” is absent from this clause and UTS has agreed to put this into the Agreement.
  • The CPSU NSW is also waiting for a response regarding our new clause and an allowance (in the Schedule) for Health and Safety Representatives elected by their work colleagues.

The CPSU NSW still wants further work to be done in regard to misconduct. We would like clear definitions of misconduct and serious misconduct in the agreement.

Our next Enterprise Bargaining meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 October.

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

JOIN the CPSU NSW on Facebook at

Govt ignoring child protection inquiry a disgrace – PSA

Sep 20, 2017

PSA Media release

The Public Service Association (PSA) has slammed the NSW Government for supporting only 12 of the 28 recommendations made by a Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Protection.

A key recommendation to extend the Auditor General’s powers to ensure accountability of all non-Government child protection organisations that receive state funding was among those ignored.

The union launched its “Safe hands” campaign during Child Protection Week to highlight the crisis which, among other horrors, sees up to 200 children housed by the Government in hotels and motels across the state each night due to a critical shortage of appropriate alternatives.

“The PSA has been sounding the alarm about a crisis in child protection and now the Government is ignoring the recommendations of a Parliamentary Inquiry which begs the question, who will this Government listen to on this critical social issue?” said Acting PSA General Secretary, Troy Wright.

“Unlike all public sector agencies, the Government clearly doesn’t want the Auditor General to regulate private providers who will continue to operate unchecked with millions of dollars of tax payer funds.

“Children are being removed from situations of risk every week across NSW and placed in completely unsuitable, insecure and potentially dangerous accommodation or are handed to private unregulated Out of Home Care providers.

“We have reports of supervision of these children being provided by private contractors at a cost of between $12,000 and $16,000 per week per child with no case management, no continuity of care and sometimes a different minder every shift.

“Yet incredibly, the Government has shied away from a recommendation to extend the Auditor General’s powers to ensure accountability in performamce of all non-Government child protection organisations that receive state funding”.

“The NSW Government is attempting to wipe its hands of responsibility for child protection and outsourcing its statutory duty of care for these children at the time when they need it most.

“We are witnessing a child protection system in crisis where children and families who urgently require support are either not receiving it, or, the nature of the intervention carries with it its own inherent risk of harm.

“Now the Government is not only ignoring these kids but is thumbing its nose at a Parliamentary Inquiry that was established to try and fix critical problems” said Troy Wright.

Transport for NSW meeting notice

Sep 20, 2017

Transport for NSW meeting notice – September 2017 (PDF version)

Your union, the PSA, will be visiting your workplace to talk with all staff about a range of important issues.

22 September 2017


Workplace lunchroom

Come along at any time during this period and have a talk with your workplace organiser, Ben James. All information shared will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

Membership forms will be available for those wishing to sign up on the day. All staff are encouraged to join the PSA and be involved by having a say in how their workplace is run.

It’s time to get involved!


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