PSA News – 10 February 2014

Feb 10, 2014

Premier responds to PSA ‘one punch’ law concerns – prison officers will ‘cope’

On 4 February, the PSA issued a media release in relation to the “one punch” laws, the increase in inmate numbers that will result from mandatory sentencing and the impact this will have on prison officers.

Barry O’Farrell responded to the PSA’s concerns in The Australian the following day.

The article can be viewed HERE

Schools – the Learning Management Business Reform (LMBR)

The PSA has written separately to School Principals and the Parents & Citizens Association regarding the introduction of the LMBR in the 229 Learning Management Business Reform schools.

The letters highlighted the PSA’s concerns with the lack of training and support being provided to School Administrative and Support Staff by the Department of Education and Communities as part of the process.

The Government’s reforms are designed to disguise cuts to public education and the casualisation of staff in schools and as such should be a major concern to every member with a child in the state school system.

The letters can be viewed on this page

Save Medicare rally

A rally to save Medicare is being held on 15 February 2014 at 1pm at Sydney Town Hall.

PSA Member Support Centre 1300 772 679

The PSA’s Member Support Centre (MSC), the union’s call facility, goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

It is your direct line to the PSA in an emergency or if you just require advice and support on a work related matter.

The MSC will ensure all phone calls to the PSA are promptly dealt with.

Remember, it goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

For more about the PSA’s restructure click HERE

Not a PSA member?

Join HERE

Still pay your PSA fees by payroll deduction?

Switching from the payroll deduction of your union fees to direct debit from a bank account means peace of mind.

It locks in your membership of the PSA.

It also ensures the strength of your union into the future, making it financially independent of any government – state or federal, Labor or Liberal – at any time.

If payroll deductions were cut not only would our service to you be reduced but our membership would shrink with a corresponding loss in all important bargaining power.

So switch to direct debit HERE

Or talk to your PSA organiser, delegate or email membership@psa.asn.au.

 

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

PSA News – 31 January 2014

Jan 31, 2014

PSA Member Support Centre 1300 772 679

The PSA’s Member Support Centre (MSC), the union’s call facility, goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

It is your direct line to the PSA in an emergency or if you just require advice and support on a work related matter.

The MSC will ensure all phone calls to the PSA are promptly dealt with.

Remember: it goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

Huge response to PSA pregnancy survey

The PSA has made a submission to the Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review after surveying women members regarding their experiences.

The response to the survey was overwhelming with more than 1000 taking part despite it being circulated in the lead up to Christmas.

  • 77% indicated they had missed out on an opportunity for promotion while pregnant
  • 71% indicated they had missed out on training or developmental opportunities while pregnant
  • 79% indicated they had been subjected to inappropriate comments by supervisors while pregnant

The other most common problem raised was difficulty accessing flexible working arrangements after returning from leave.

Stage one of Government attack on 2.5% fails

Stage one of the O’Farrell Government’s twin pronged attack on the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission to grant the full 2.5% wage rise has failed.

The Government’s application for a stay (or suspension) of Justice Boland’s decision was heard by the Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission on 30 January 2014.

The move was rebuffed by the Commission until the second element of the Government’s strategy – a judicial review of the decision – is determined in the Court of Appeal.

On 17 December 2013, Justice Boland, President of the Industrial Relations Commission, ruled in favour of the PSA that the full 2.5% available under the Government’s wages policy be paid to members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The 0.23% increase was to take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2013.

However, the O’Farrell Government is once again not prepared to accept the independent umpire’s decision.

Accordingly, and in a further attempt to undermine the Commission, the NSW Government:

  1. Re-published an amended Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011 directing the Commission to include superannuation in the 2.5% increase thereby cutting the available wage rise. A similar Regulation was disallowed by NSW Parliament in September 2013;
  2. Filed an appeal in the Industrial Relations Commission to have Justice Boland’s decision and orders quashed; and
  3. Lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW seeking to have the Commission’s decisions and orders quashed.

If the matter before the Court of Appeal fails then the Government will rely on its redrafted Regulation, subject to it again not being disallowed by Parliament, to enforce the previously paid 2.27% wage increase.

The application for judicial review of the decision will be heard in the NSW Court of Appeal on 3 February 2014.

Schools – Learning Management Business Reform (LMBR) update

On 20 December 2013, the Department lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission in relation to PSA work bans on LMBR which were to be introduced from day one, term 1, 2014.

At the hearing, the PSA raised members’ concerns around lack of training and support, work overload, stress, time frames associated with the rollout and Departmental communications.

The Commission was sympathetic with the concerns of members and acknowledged that the matter must have deteriorated, as the PSA is not known as a union which imposes work bans lightly.

However, the PSA was directed to lift the proposed bans.

The Department then released a plan of support for the 229 LMBR focus schools in the belief it would address the concerns raised.

The plan was issued without prior consultation with the PSA.

The Department offered SAS Staff in the 229 schools the opportunity to volunteer to work in the final two weeks of the holidays with additional training and support.

PSA members who chose to volunteer would be paid at the appropriate long term temporary rate, funded by the Department not the school.

The PSA also obtained assurances from the Department that SAS Staff who chose not to volunteer would be provided with the additional training and support during term 1, 2014.

The Department will also provide onsite support to the 229 focus schools.

All members are encouraged to continue to notify the PSA of any problems they are experiencing and to lodge a help desk call with the Department’s Shared Service Centre.

Make over for Managing Excess Employees Policy

The O’Farrell Government has announced that it is redrafting the Managing Excess Employees Policy Employees Policy to bring it into line with the provisions of the Government Sector Employment Act.

The PSA will be seeking input into this process.

PSA feedback on GSE draft rules and regulation

The PSA has written to the Public Service Commissioner outlining our major concerns with the draft Government Sector Employment rules and regulation.

The submission can be viewed HERE (PDF).

 

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

PSA News – 21 January 2014

Jan 21, 2014

Pay case update

On 17 December 2013, Justice Boland in the Industrial Relations Commission ruled that the full 2.5% available under the Government’s wages policy be paid to members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The O’Farrell Government had wanted the 2.5% discounted by the increase in the superannuation guarantee levy which is why an interim rise of 2.27% was paid.

Justice Boland also found that pay increases of 2.5% per annum are not guaranteed under the Industrial Relations Act and the Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011.

On Friday, 20 December, the parties conferred to discuss the implementation of the full increase.

However, in the interim, the O’Farrell Government filed an appeal and sought a stay (that is, a suspension) of the orders of Justice Boland for the full 2.5% increase until the appeal has been dealt with.

The Government’s application for a stay will be heard by the Industrial Relations Commission on 30 January 2014.

Members will be provided with a further update following the hearing.

Have your say on Government role in disability services

You can have your say on the NSW Government’s draft Disability Inclusion Bill 2014 which will be introduced into NSW Parliament this year.

The Bill can be viewed HERE (PDF).

“While the NDIS transfers service provision from NSW Government to the Commonwealth, it does not alter our obligations to remain as protectors for people with disability,” said Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka.

The draft Bill is available for public comment until 14 February.

Comment can be made online via www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/dib, by phoning 1800 446 470
or by emailing disabilityinclusionbill@facs.nsw.gov.au.

PSA University Undergraduate Scholarship

The scholarship is available at any Australian university in any course and is restricted to students entering the first year of a full-time course.

It is restricted to children of members of the Association at the time of application who have been continuous financial members for the previous five years.

The scholarship will have a value of $850 per annum and will be awarded in the first instance for one year and re-awarded annually for a maximum period of three years.

A scholar’s tenure shall be subject to a satisfactory report as to his/her progress and conduct.

The scholarship will be awarded on results obtained in Higher School Certificate Examination and Assessment or equivalent and will take into account whether or not the applicant is the holder of a scholarship, traineeship, etc.

Subject to the provisions above, the highest marks and assessment and/or aggregate will be the deciding factor in the award.

Applications close at 5pm on 28 February.

Application forms are available from Sandra Lockey, Executive Assistant at the PSA on telephone (02) 9220 0982.

Second State of Public Sector report – the way we are

Getting Into Shape, the second annual State of the NSW Public Sector Report by the Public Service Commission has been released.

It provides another revealing snapshot of the public sector in this state and makes for interesting reading.

The report can be found HERE.

PSA cars roll out to defend public services

The PSA’s car fleet is now badged with the Defending Public Services logo.

So if you see one, honk your horn and keep us informed of any sightings on our Facebook page.

You still pay your PSA fees by payroll deduction?

Switching from the payroll deduction of your union fees to direct debit from a bank account means peace of mind.

It locks in your membership of the PSA.

It also ensures the strength of your union into the future, making it financially independent of any government – state or federal, Labor or Liberal – at any time.

If payroll deductions were cut not only would our service to you be reduced but our membership would shrink with a corresponding loss in all important bargaining power.

So switch to direct debit at https://membership.psa.asn.au

Or talk to your PSA organiser, delegate or email membership@psa.asn.au.

 

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

PSA News – 13 December 2013

Dec 13, 2013

Briefings on GSE Rules and Regulation

The PSA has received 34 requests from members for workplace briefings on the Government Sector Employment draft Rules and Regulation.

The Public Service Commissioner has advised Department Heads that these meetings can take place during working hours.

If you would like an initial briefing please arrange a meeting of at least eight people (members or non-members) and register your interest HERE.

The PSA’s Research Unit is currently finalising a briefing paper for members that summarises and explains the draft Rules and Regulation.

We have until 13 January to provide comment and feedback to the Public Service Commission.

The Rules and Regulation can be viewed HERE.

Members are invited to provide feedback on the draft Rules and Regulation to research@psa.asn.au.

Departmental Committee elections – closing date extended

The new issue of Red Tape carries a call for nominations for the FACS, Crown Lands, Legal Aid NSW and NSW Police Force Departmental Committees.

The closing date for nominations has been extended to 5pm Friday 10 January 2014.

L. Cakovski
for G R Bensley
Deputy Returning Officer


Salaries case update

The PSA fought for the full 2.5% wage increase before President Boland of the Industrial Relations Commission in a two day hearing on 13 and 28 November.

Our aim is to secure the difference between the 2.5% available under the Government’s unfair wages policy and the 2.27% that has been paid to members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The President indicated his intention to hand down a decision before the end of the year.

WorkCover bullying inquiry

The PSA submitted a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into allegations of bullying in WorkCover on 9 September 2013.

The inquiry was sparked following a successful unfair dismissal case lodged by the PSA which highlighted a culture of bullying in WorkCover.

The PSA widely circulated the damning decision of the Industrial Relations Commission.

Four PSA representatives appeared before the Committee on 6 November followed by WorkCover on 11 November.

Answers are currently being provided to questions on notice.

The Committee’s report is expected to be handed down in February 2014.

Tell your workers comp story

It’s time that the O’Farrell Government heard directly about the harsh impact of its changes to workers compensation in 2012.

The Greens David Shoebridge has set up a facility for injured workers to tell their story about life under the new laws.

Go to:

https://davidshoebridge.good.do/tell-your-workcover-story/tell-your-workcover-story/

and details of your situation or perhaps the difficult circumstances of someone you know will be sent directly to Finance Minister Andrew Constance.

PSA Member Support Centre – 1300 PSA NSW

The PSA’s new Member Support Centre (MSC) is on track to open in March 2014.
Local Land Services award and FWHA

A consent award for Local Land Services (LLS) was made before Justice Backman in the Industrial Relations Commission on 3 December.

Everything is now ready for the LLS – the new award and the Flexible Working Hours Agreement (FWHA) – to begin operation from 1 January 2014.

A number of delegates played a critical role in securing this result particularly, Geoff Green (Chair of the LHPA DC), Lisa Martin (delegate LHPA), Brett Littler (delegate CMA) and Robyn Shea (delegate LHPA).

Nothing scientific about Premier’s job cuts – Sydney Morning Herald letter

On 2 December, the Sydney Morning Herald printed the following letter from PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner.

“You quote Australian Museum staff commenting “a natural history museum without a paleontologist is a joke” (“Funding cuts leave museum with a skeleton staff”, November 30-December 1).

There is nothing remotely funny about the widespread attack on scientists occurring under the O’Farrell government. Hundreds have been cut from the state public service in the past 12 months without any explanation.

Whether it’s the bio scientists and agronomists who look after our food security, the toxicologists who ensure workers are not being poisoned or the fossil scientists in the museum, large numbers are disappearing.

I have requested information from the government about the scientific roles being cut. Unfortunately, it is unavailable because responsibility for the cuts has been conveniently devolved to individual directors-general.

This means that the O’Farrell government is unable to provide a picture of what has been lost and the impact that will have on the people of NSW.”

Code of conduct and email

All members are reminded to read their workplace code of conduct before forwarding emails to others.

 

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

PSA News – 28 November 2013

Nov 28, 2013

Have your say at Newcastle NDIS forum

The PSA is holding a second forum in Newcastle on 4 December at Panthers from 1pm to 3pm regarding the O’Farrell Government using the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a Trojan horse to cut the choice and quality of services available to support people with a disability in NSW.

If you would like to submit a question to the panel or vote on the questions of others please go to

http://psa.asn.au/prevent-a-disability-disaster/

Consultative arrangements

In 2012, the Department of Premier & Cabinet (DPC) issued revised Consultative Arrangements: Policy and Guidelines.

This circular superseded the previous Consultative Arrangements: Policy and Guidelines from 1997.

There is a question as to whether the 1997 policy is able to be unilaterally changed by the DPC without the consent of the PSA.

If the PSA is successful in such an argument, then the 1997 policy, as a term of the Conditions Award, can only be varied by the Industrial Relations Commission.

Proceedings are on foot in the Industrial Relations Court to determine whether the 1997 Consultative Guidelines policy has been incorporated by reference as a term in the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009.

The matter was heard before Justice Walton on Friday 22 November 2013. We await his decision.

Howling success in NSW Police Force

When changes to rosters and duties for civilian staff working at the Police Dog Unit were made without proper consultation, the PSA stepped in to assist members.

Representations were made to NSWPF industrial reps via the JCC process and following meetings with management of the Dog Unit, the issues were resolved to the satisfaction of members.

Tackling TAFE

In TAFE there have been three bargaining meetings since 71 percent of staff voted down an inferior offer put forward by management.

We have been able to narrow down the outstanding issues, forcing TAFE to remove the claim to introduce part year employment.

The key issue now is a claim for back pay.

Higher education bargaining round up

Round 7 enterprise bargaining is under way and we have already had some great success.

The CSU agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission and delivers a salary increase of 11.9% (compounded at 12.46%) over 4 years. This is an average increase of 3.11% per year.

We are also making good progress at UNE, UWS, SCU, Newcastle and ACU.

At UNE, the University has agreed to our claim for domestic violence leave which is uncapped in the agreement.

UNSW bargaining has recently commenced while the University of Wollongong and Macquarie University are yet to begin.

We have also finalised an excellent agreement at the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) with a three year agreement at 4% per annum and a $1000 sign-on bonus for permanent employees ($500 for FTAs).

In addition we won:

  • An extension to the existing Primary Carer leave which allows employees, irrespective of gender, to receive the full paid maternity leave entitlement of 33 weeks in certain circumstances
  • Paid grandparent leave of 2 weeks.

Jenolan Caves – privatisation

The EOI process for the future management of the Jenolan Caves Visitor Use and Service Zone was released in June 2013.

The State Government has selected applicants who will submit their tenders by January 2014.

The PSA is now working with the Government and the prospective operators on cementing the best transitional arrangements for members, including protecting employment opportunities and retaining award conditions and salary.

Health & Safety rep training

The PSA is an accredited provider for Health & Safety Representative (HSR) Training and offers the five day HSR course and the one day annual refresher.

All HSRs who have undertaken the one day bridging or the five day HSR course are eligible to attend the annual one day refresher.

PSA HSR Training Schedule

10 December – one day annual refresher at PSA Lismore Office (applications close on 2 December)

16, 17 and 22, 23, 24 January 2014 – five day HSR course at PSA House, Sydney

If there is a HSR in your workplace, please ensure this information reaches them.

If you are interested in arranging a course for your area, please register at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HSRWHSTraining

Or contact the WHS Team at whs@psa.asn.au

Join the PSA HERE

Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

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