PSA News – 15 December 2015

Dec 15, 2015

Central Council supports PSA General Secretary

Yesterday, Central Council, the governing body of the PSA, passed several motions in support of recent decisions of the PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner.

In addition, the below censure motion of the PSA President, Sue Walsh was laid on the table as per the rules for the next meeting of Central Council.

Moved Cllr Turner             Seconded Cllr Townsend

“That Central Council censures the President of the PSA for sending emails to members which contained untrue and malicious content and which damaged the reputation of the PSA General Secretary and the PSA.”

Moved Cllr Cameron         Seconded Cllr Alvarado

“Central Council determines that the honorary position of President does not require and is not entitled to the exclusive use of an office.”

Moved Cllr Turner             Seconded Cllr Wilton

“That Central Council determines that the direction for the President to vacate the office in PSA House is not a breach of the rules, let alone a substantial breach of the rules.”

Moved Cllr Fullick             Seconded Cllr S O’Brien

“That Central Council declares invalid the direction of the President dated 24 November 2015 suspending Anne Gardiner from the Office of General Secretary. The direction:

1. Failed to identify the rule the General Secretary allegedly breached; and
2. Failed to give the General Secretary procedural fairness before the purported suspension.”

Moved Cllr England          Seconded Cllr Cameron

“That Central Council instructs the General Secretary to obtain legal advice with regards to recovering board fees in accordance with (past) Motion CC97/13 Moved Cllr Cameron, Seconded Cllr Leen:

“That Central Council resolves that the Board fees payable to President Sue Walsh in respect to her appointment to the State Super Board and State Super Financial Services Board shall be remitted to the PSA.”


PSA News – 24 November 2015

Nov 24, 2015

State of the public sector report

The Public Service Commission’s 2015 State of the NSW Public Sector Report has been released. The report focuses on six features of high performing organisations: workforce capability and diversity, employee engagement, customer focus, leadership strength, culture and behaviours and productivity and innovation.

You can read the report HERE.

Australian Museum guts staff, putting priceless artefacts at risk: union – the Sydney Morning Herald

“The question must be asked, ‘What exactly does the Baird government value?’”

Read The Sydney Morning Herald article HERE

Jail break

PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner had an opinion piece published in the Daily Telegraph on prison overcrowding and workers comp.

Read the article HERE.

Legal Aid helping those most in need

Last year, Legal Aid NSW assisted almost 600 people in NSW each day, every day.

Read the media release HERE

Trustee & Guardian job cuts halted – for now

Following the announcement of job cuts and office closures at Trustee & Guardian, the PSA took the matter to the Industrial Relations Commission.

Commissioner Newell stated emphatically that no positions should be lost across all of NSWTAG prior to the completion of the Pilot. This is not negotiable.

The state’s most vulnerable will take yet another hit with cuts that will see deceased estate and disability services slashed.

Read the ABC News story HERE

Send a letter to your local paper to support TAFE

TAFEs are being starved of funding by the Baird Government in favour of for-profit private providers that are increasingly being exposed for scamming the system, short-changing students and providing substandard training.

Send a letter to your local paper supporting your local TAFE HERE

People’s Climate March Australia – November 27-29

Australian Unions will gather and walk alongside millions of people in hundreds of major cities around the world.

Join hundreds of thousands of Australians as we march for a transition to renewable energy, for secure job creation, for clean air, for a healthy environment and a safe climate.

The PSA will have a contingent of marchers. Come and join us. We are meeting at Hyde Park in Sydney at the Archibald Fountain at 1245 and will then join other marchers at the Domain

For more information click HERE.

PSA successful in reopening Grafton gaol

The PSA’s fight to have Grafton gaol reopened to ease dangerous overcrowding in the state’s prison system has been successful.

Read the Northern Star article HERE.

Awards under review

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission is reviewing all awards to ensure they are up to date with current language and provisions.

This process is undertaken every three years and is prescribed by Section 19 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996.

Members are advised that no alterations of conditions are negotiated through this process, as this is an administrative review only.

Awards may however undergo superficial changes including a change of name, a renumbering of provisions or removal of duplicate clauses for staff covered by multiple awards.

Additional information is available on the Industrial Relations Commission website.

Join the fight for penalty rates

The Turnbull Government is making plenty of noise about penalty rates, with Sunday rates for workers in hospitality and retail already singled out by the Productivity Commission.
Australian Unions is campaigning on behalf of workers who depend on penalty rates.

PSA members may volunteer to help HERE.

Or send letters to your local paper using Australian Unions’ online tool.


PSA News – 8 October 2015

Oct 8, 2015

PSA calls for better training for Special Constables in wake of Parramatta shooting – Nine News

PSA Acting General Secretary, Steve Turner has called on the Government to ensure that Special Constables receive the same regularly updated training as police in the wake of the Parramatta shooting.

View the Nine News story HERE

More than 90 percent in ADHC back strike action

Ninety-two percent of PSA ADHC members have backed strike action in protest against the department’s privatisation plans.

ADHC delegates and staff have met and agreed on an action plan which will be rolled out across NSW in the coming months, starting in the Hunter region.

Members in the Hunter were the first to meet on 1 October and voted on strike action in their district for four hours on 4 November.

“Hands off TAFE” Day of Action

The Greens are holding a “Hands off TAFE” Day of Action in NSW on Monday 12 October to coincide with the final listed public hearing for the NSW Upper House inquiry into vocational education and training (VET).

Working conditions are under attack, further job losses are in the pipeline, buildings are being sold off and TAFE as a first rate vocational education provider is being trashed by the Smart and Skilled policy.

It’s time to stand up.

The “Hands Off TAFE” Day of Action allows you to choose how you want to be involved. You can participate in this mass collective action wherever you are located in NSW, at home or work, on the phone or computer, outside a TAFE campus, at a train station or in your community.

More information HERE

Handcuffs in court a must: PSA

PSA demands that all convicted criminals in courts be handcuffed to ensure staff and public safety hit the top of page three of the Daily Telegraph.

View The Daily Telegraph article HERE

Campaign boosts Sheriff’s Officer numbers

Good news in a time of staff cutbacks; the PSA has successfully campaigned to recruit additional Sheriff’s Officers.

Over the past few years, the number of Sheriff’s Officers throughout NSW has been declining, with many unsatisfactory reasons given for failing to recruit or replace retiring workers.

The heightened national terror alert announced in September 2014 further amplified the need to address dwindling numbers.

PSA staff and delegates on the Sheriff’s Officers’ Vocational Branch Advisory Group (SOVBAG) have been campaigning tirelessly to reverse the downward trend.

Part of a dispute lodged by the PSA against the Office of the Sheriff in March 2015 was the considerable reduction in Sheriff’s Officers and the need to rectify this shortfall as a matter of urgency.

The PSA’s persistence paid off: the Government announced security at key courthouses across NSW will be strengthened with the appointment of 40 new officers.

The new recruits will undergo a five-week training program, with the first classes already underway.

Recruits will be located in Sydney and regional areas of NSW.

Child Protection workers saved from red tape nightmare

Thanks to the intervention of the PSA, the proposed audit of Out of Home Care has been streamlined.

Members were concerned that they were required to complete a list of important tasks over an impossible timeframe, affecting how much time they could directly spend with children at risk.

Acting PSA General Secretary, Steve Turner contacted Minister Hazzard’s office when this proposal was unveiled and common sense prevailed.

Unsworn police staff remembered in memorial

A week prior to the tragedy in Parramatta, a memorial to all police staff, including non-sworn members, killed on the job was unveiled in Surry Hills, Sydney.

The PSA was among those who contributed to the memorial which features the names of all staff killed in the line of duty since 2006, the same year a national memorial was established in Canberra.

Plans are in motion to honour staff killed before that date.

RIP Rachel Polanskis

Long-time member Rachel Polanskis has passed away.

Working at the University of Western Sydney, Rachel was a PSA member for 20 years.

As colleague Lorraine Fordham recalled: “She was a committed and enthusiastic unionist; even after being made redundant a couple of years ago, she still maintained her union membership as she wanted to continue to support the union and its members.”

Safety and Injured Workers Conference

Unions NSW will be holding its annual Safety and Injured Workers Conference on 22 and 23 October 2015 from 9am.

Thursday October 22 will focus on workplace safety rights and Friday October 23 on the rights of  injured workers.

The venue is Trades Hall Auditorium, 377 Sussex Street Sydney

Further information HERE

PSA News – 4 September 2015

Sep 4, 2015

PSA demands Out of Home Care report remove vulnerable kids from motels

The PSA was on the front foot with a media release before the unveiling of a new report into the transfer of children in Out Of Home Care to the non-government sector.

Rather than look at the documented problems with the roll out involving a non-government sector unable to cope, the report argued, that Family and Community Services had fallen short.

What a surprise…

Read the PSA’s media release HERE

Read the report HERE

Acting PSA General Secretary, Steve Turner had already written to Family and Community Services Minister, Brad Hazzard calling for an inquiry into the outsourcing of Out of Home Care.

Read a copy of that letter HERE

Telegraphed attack on LMBR in schools continues

The PSA has been a leader in the push to expose the horrors of LMBR in schools with unprecedented coverage of the issue in The Daily Telegraph since the matter made the paper’s front page on 5 August.

Earlier this week Education Minister Adrian Piccoli was hammered in the Budget Estimates Committee over the cost of the disaster which, it’s believed, could have paid for the construction of as many as 20 new schools.

Now the Premier has been dragged into the mess.

Read the latest Daily Telegraph article HERE

Hear Acting PSA General Secretary, Steve Turner talking about LMBR on ABC Radio with Linda Mottram on 3 September HERE

PSA Bargaining Team

The PSA is seeking nominations for a Bargaining Team to involve members in determining the union’s agenda in relation to issues such as salaries and conditions.

The first meeting of the Bargaining Team is expected to take place in mid-October.

All interested members are encouraged to nominate.

Find your electorate HERE

Download a nomination form HERE

We Are Union launch

Unions NSW is launching a new initiative to engage inner city unionists in campaigning activities around the Federal election and beyond.

“We Are Union” has been modelled on the highly popular Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) initiative.

The Bank Hotel
324 King St Newtown
Tuesday 8 September
5:30 for 6pm

View the flyer for the event HERE

MUA waterfront fight continues

The MUA is asking all supporters to continue their attendance at the assembly at Port Botany.

“The sacked 97 workers, despite being ‘reinstated’ by Federal Court injunction, remain in limbo for the time being,” said MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith.

“They are receiving wages but are yet to get through the gate and still require moral support in this trying time.

“The support from members, other unions and the community has been amazing up until this point and its important that we show our solidarity and that the MUA won’t be going anywhere until we secure an acceptable result.”

See more HERE

…and HERE

On Thursday 26 August 2015 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, MUA members and their supporters took the protest to Vodafone, which is half owned by Hutchison

See more HERE

Save Our Steel – Port Kembla

The PSA’s Central Council has thrown its support behind the community campaign by the South Coast Labour Council and other unions to save the iconic Port Kembla Steelworks from closure.

More information is available on Facebook: Save Our Steel – Port Kembla

PSA News – 14 August 2015

Aug 14, 2015

MUA win – workers back at work

In a major win, last night the Federal Court granted an order sought by the MUA to stop Hutchison Ports from dismissing almost 100 employees in Sydney and Brisbane.

Hutchison were directed not to make the workers redundant until the case is determined by the court.

Hearing dates have been set down from 1 September.

The workers concerned went back to work at 6.00am this morning.

There is a sausage sizzle from midday today, Friday 14 August 2015, at Port Botany to celebrate.

All are welcome.

At its meeting on 10 August, the PSA’s Central Council gave full support to MUA demands that Hutchison Ports withdraw 97 dismissal notices issued to workers at Port Botany and Brisbane terminals and negotiate with the union over re-equipment and staffing.

Dismissal notices were issued by text message shortly before midnight on 6 August, effective immediately.

Most of the sacked workers were elected site committee members, shift delegates or health and safety committee representatives.

Hundreds including PSA staff and members joined the protest at Port Botany.

PSA wins unpaid wages

The PSA has won four years of unpaid overtime for ADHC staff at the Tomaree Centre.

The Tomaree Centre is a facility for adults with an intellectual disability at Shoal Bay, in the Port Stephens region of NSW.

Staff realised they had been continually working more hours than their mandated 76-hour fortnights, yet were not paid for any excess time on the job.

PSA Regional Organiser, Paul James, approached the department’s regional director and requested a pay audit.

After the audit, the director arranged for staff to be paid for the extra hours worked over the past four years.

If you think members in your area are working without being paid, talk to your PSA delegate or called the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

Productivity Commission report – have your say

You have until 18 September to make submissions to the Abbott Government’s Productivity Commission.

The Commission has called for cuts to penalty rates for workers in certain sectors, reducing take-home pay for people required to work unsocial hours.

Workers in health and emergency services have been spared cuts to penalty rates.

For now.

The Commission also encourages more contracts outside the award system.

Changes such as these were rejected in 2007 by voters when packaged up and labelled WorkChoices.

You can make a submission to the Productivity Commission HERE

PSA concerns about LMBR in schools highlighted by Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph has highlighted the PSA’s concerns about the roll out of the Learning Management and Business Reform (LMBR) program in schools, the cost of which to date is far greater than a reported $500 million.

Read The Daily Telegraph article HERE

Annual PSA Women’s Conference 2015

Registrations are now open for PSA Women’s Conference. All women members of the PSA are eligible to register.

The 2015 theme, chosen by PSA Women’s Council Committee is:

‘Standing against domestic violence’

You can see a draft program HERE

You can register for the conference HERE

This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, and Wednesday, 15-16 September 2015 at PSA House, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney.

All women who are financial members of the PSA are encouraged to nominate to attend.

PSA News – 27 July 2015

Jul 27, 2015

Government ceases Home Care transfer negotiations in march towards privatisation

In what may well be a defining moment for the Baird administration in its relentless privatisation push, without any discussion with the PSA, the NSW Government has suddenly ceased negotiations on the transfer conditions of Home Care members when they move to a private provider.

The PSA has been involved in extensive discussions with the Government for many months to secure the best possible transfer deal for members.

The union was simply not prepared to accept the terms proposed by the Government which were were vastly inferior to what had been granted to other Government employees who have transferred to a private provider.

In response, on 21 July 2015, the Home Care Departmental Committee held an urgent teleconference and unanimously voted to implement industrial action in Home Care in defence of jobs, conditions and pay.

Full information on the bans is available HERE.

Privatisation exposed at Sydney forum

Government revenue streams are being privatised to companies that go on to implement tax-minimisation strategies on their Australian operations.

That was just one of the criticisms levelled at the global outsourcing agenda at a forum, Privatisation: Alternatives in the Public’s Interest, held in Sydney on 21 July.

Jason Ward of the International Transport Workers’ Federation told the forum the company running privatised electricity companies in Victoria and South Australia is now based largely in the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean used by large companies around the world to minimise tax.

At the forum, union representatives from five countries compared privatisation experiences, citing examples of union exclusion, a drop in service quality, loss of expertise, and private sector companies being measured by looser standards than ones held against public operators.

Dr Michael Wright of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association told the forum of his organisation’s fear that privatising disability support services in the state will reduce choices for families and result in vulnerable people being exposed to market forces.

“Caring for people with a disability: if that is not a role for the state, then I don’t know what is,” said Dr Wright.

However, three speakers gave examples of where the public sector is successfully resisting the urge of governments to privatise.

Peter Simpson of the Electrical Trades Union Queensland and Northern Territory spoke of working alongside those traditionally on the other end of the political spectrum, including irrigators and rural townspeople, to defeat privatisation in the Sunshine State.

From the local government field, Sandy Moreton raised the recruiting of “angry mums” via social media to make Blacktown City Council think twice about outsourcing its child-care facilities.

Annual PSA Women’s Conference 2015

Registrations are now open for PSA Women’s Conference.

All women members of the PSA are eligible to register.

The 2015 theme, chosen by PSA Women’s Council Committee is:

‘Standing against domestic violence’

You can see a draft program HERE

You can register for the conference HERE

This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, and Wednesday, 15-16 September 2015 at PSA House, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney.

All women who are financial members of the PSA are encouraged to nominate to attend.

Registrations close 17 August 2015

Locking in Grafton’s future

The Daily Examiner newspaper in Grafton recently reported 100 prisoners were being transferred to a wing in Grafton Gaol.

This comes on the heels of a long campaign by the PSA to re-open the correctional facility in northern NSW to relieve overcrowding in the prison system.

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into TAFE

Make your voice heard

Since we commenced consultation we have received close to 100 submissions and held over 20 meetings with members and the public concerned for the future of TAFE and vocational education and training in general.

If you would like a meeting held in your work location, please contact Dylan Smith.

Time is running out to contribute.

Submissions are due by 14 August 2015.

We will try to arrange a meeting as soon as possible but with time so short, we ask that you consider contributing in other ways as well:

  • Contribute to the PSA’s submission – provide a detailed comment HERE, addressing some or all of the terms of reference
  • Provide your own submission to the Inquiry HERE
  • Encourage your friends and family to write their own submission to the Inquiry
  • Contact the Secretariat to the committee –

Phone: 9230 3389 or email and request a public hearing be held in your local area (remember to include this in your written submission)

It doesn’t matter if you are currently at TAFE or not, this policy affects us all and everyone should speak up to help us Save TAFE.


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