PSA News – 30 March 2015

Mar 30, 2015

NSW Electoral Commission – a job well done

Congratulations to PSA members in the NSW Electoral Commission for their outstanding work in relation to the State Election over the weekend.

The systems they have put in place along with their website made following the election a very user friendly experience for the people of NSW.

ServiceFirst members take action

ServiceFirst which employs over 300 staff in Parramatta, the CBD, and across regional NSW is an award winning shared service provider managing IT, HR, payroll and finance for DPC, NSW Treasury, Office of Finance and Services, Service NSW and the PSC.

Under the Government’s plan, ServiceFirst is to be privatised with up to 240 of the 300 positions likely to be sent overseas.

Following strong media coverage, in mid March, a community run petition to support staff at ServiceFirst was handed to the Labor Party MPs in Parramatta by ServiceFirst staff and PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner.

To see the photo of the petition handover click HERE

On 26 March, over 150 members from ServiceFirst walked off the job in Parramatta and at the McKell Building in Sydney to protest against the State Government’s plans to privatise and off shore their jobs.

In Parramatta, 100 ServiceFirst members were joined by 50 members from Community Services with another 50 ServiceFirst members taking a stand at the McKell Building.

Members in Parramatta marched through the streets to the office of Liberal MP Geoff Lee chanting slogans such as “ServiceFirst is not for sale, keep our jobs in NSW!”

See photos of the walk out HERE

To read the PSA media release click HERE

To read the Sydney Morning Herald article about the Government’s plans, click HERE

Community Services action

Buoyed by the action taken on 19 March by Community Services members at Lakemba, Penrith, St Marys, Shellharbour, Nowra, Coniston, Ballina, Tweed Heads, Lismore, Tamworth, Ingleburn and the Blue Mountains, more Community Services caseworkers and support staff walked off the job for an hour at lunchtime on 26 March.

The spontaneous walkout by members in Taree, Armidale, Windsor, Fairfield, Parramatta, Blacktown and Coonabarabran was again in response to the NSW Government’s failure to properly resource child protection.

You can see the photos of the 26 March action HERE

You can see the photos of the 19 March action HERE

You can read just some of the media coverage of both actions HERE


Working with children check

On 27 November 2013, the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) over the lack of consultation by the Department of Community Services regarding the implementation of new Working with Children Check (WWCC) provisions which incurred an $80 fee for a 5 year clearance to work with children.

The WWCC legislation was silent on whether the employee or employer should pay this fee.

The PSA argued that this was an employer related cost and as such should be paid by the employer.

Given the wide application of this issue, UnionNSW became involved and this lead to an application for a new award, the Child Protection (Working With Children) Award 2014.

On 3 February 2015, the award application was heard by a Full Bench of the IRC.

The arguments from both parties were complex and it took some time for the Full Bench of the Commission to give due consideration to the merits of the submissions by the parties.

On 19 March, the application for an award to permit the reimbursement of monies for the working with children check was dismissed.

This means that staff who have paid for their WWCC clearance will not be reimbursed by their employer and employees who have yet to pay for the clearance must shoulder the cost themselves.

The decision can be read HERE

NSW Government accused of breaching international labor obligations

The PSA, the ACTU and the CPSU have joined forces calling on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to investigate the conduct of the NSW Government in its attack on fundamental workers’ rights.

To read the media release click HERE

To read the official complaint click HERE

Public Services International report into privatisation of public services

Australian affiliates, including the PSA through its federal counterpart, of the global union federation, Public Services International (PSI), have welcomed a new report which outlines why the privatisation of public assets and services is fundamentally flawed.

The report, ‘Why Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work,’ by Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) assesses the experience of PPPs in countries both rich and poor.

You can read the media release HERE

You can read the report HERE

Red Tape

Members should have received the latest edition of Red Tape last week.

We have had feedback from some members that the journal did not arrive.

Given increased postage expenses, we would like to make sure that this interesting read is being delivered to you.

If you did not get Red Tape please email with your name and home address so that we can identify any issues.

To read the March edition click HERE

Vote to Defend Public Services

Mar 23, 2015

As an employee in the NSW public sector, you have first-hand experience of the impact government policies have had on service delivery.

As an employee in the public sector, you also have the rare opportunity to vote on who should be your employer.

The Public Service Association is not affiliated with any political party.

Our Central Council passed a motion on 9 February 2015 stating that no resources of the union be directed to assist any party or person in this election campaign.

This does not mean however that we must be silent or neutral when it comes to defending public services and the rights of our members in the workplace.

What we have been doing

In the lead up to the election, our members have been active in the community talking to people about how the current Government’s policies have impacted on the services they deliver.

PSA members and staff have doorknocked thousands of homes in key seats and had hundreds of people pledge to use their vote to support our campaign against privatisation and job cuts.

Our members have run market stalls, designed a billboard that was put up on the Pacific Highway near Newcastle and held rallies across the state.

You can see photos HERE.

So where do the parties stand on issues that affect our members?

We have put together a voting record card showing how each of the parties has voted in the Upper House on key issues that impact public services in NSW and the rights of our members who deliver them.

You can see that voting record HERE.

Last year more than 25,000 people signed our petition opposing the wholesale privatisation of disability services.

Last week we wrote to all candidates in 23 pivotal seats and asked that they support our members who provide these services by signing our candidates’ pledge.

You can see who has given their support HERE.

Would you like to be involved on Election Day (or pre-polling)?

You can volunteer at a booth on Election Day (or pre-polling) with Unions NSW.

Unions NSW will be co-ordinating union members just like you at 11 marginal seats across the state.

To get involved and find a seat near you click HERE.

Make no mistake, the voice of our membership has been heard in the lead up to this election like never before.

Our members will stand up to defend the delivery of quality public services to the community.

This is a message that we will promote right up until Election Day and will continue to highlight beyond March 28.

Last but by no means least, the PSA congratulates you for the work that you have done as public servants for the past four years on behalf of the people of NSW.

PSA News – 3 March 2015

Mar 3, 2015

The time to stand up and fight back is now.

ACTU National rally Wednesday 4 March.

4 March 2015
Parliament House
Macquarie Street Sydney

4 March 2015
Newcastle Town Hall

The co-ordinated national action is in response to the Abbott Government’s attacks on the rights of Australian workers governed by the Federal Fair Work Act.

For some in the community, penalty rates, the minimum wage and more are up for grabs.

This impacts on those workers under Federal awards.

PSA members covered by the Fair Work Act have negotiated collective agreements that sit above these Federal awards.

While these attacks on penalty rates do not directly impact upon PSA members whose rights are currently protected by NSW awards and legislation, members are encouraged to attend a rally.

Those in Sydney should meet at PSA House, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney between 11.45am and 12pm in the foyer on the ground floor.

Members attending will be given a PSA T-shirt.

The PSA’s focus is on the Baird State Government’s job cuts, privatisations and wages policy here in NSW and the regressive changes in 2011 to industrial relations legislation which has led to NSW public servants having a legally binding wage ceiling on their pay.

As members would be aware in order for state public servants to secure a pay increase above 2.5%, the NSW Government expects conditions to be traded away, something that the PSA refuses to do.

That is why the PSA will be making a submission to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for breaches of ILO conventions by the Baird State Government.

PSA News – 20 February 2015

Feb 20, 2015

Unions NSW Scroll of Honour for Mary Court

Hard working PSA schools member, Mary Court has been honoured with the Unions NSW 2015 Scroll of Honour for her services to the PSA and the union movement.

Mary is a School Admin Manager from Blaxland High School.

Mary has been a highly valued district leader for PSA members in Western Sydney public schools since 1994.

She became a powerful force in the union movement’s Your Rights At Work campaign in 2005 – 2007.

Mary is also a founding member and Secretary of the highly organised Penrith Valley Community Unions where her skills, knowledge and passion are helping to make the Jobs, Rights & Services Campaign a great success.

Congratulations Mary.

For a photo of Mary at last night’s awards click HERE.

Code of Conduct for Central Councillors

For the first time, the PSA has a Code of Conduct for Central Councillors.

At its meeting on 9 February 2015, the PSA’s Central Council adopted the Code of Conduct.

To read the Code of Conduct click HERE.

Glen Turner Scholarship in natural resource management

Environment Minister, Rob Stokes has announced the creation of the Glen Turner Scholarship at the University of Newcastle.

Glen, a compliance officer with the Office of Environment and Heritage, was shot and killed last year while on duty.

The scholarship will be awarded to a student in the field of natural resource management, which could include a bachelor degree in science, environmental science or a related field.

Applications close on 15 March 2015.

Read more

ACTU National Protest 4 March

Fight for rights nationwide protest

12:30pm 4 March 2015

Parliament House

Macquarie Street, Sydney

Rights at work are again under attack from the Abbott Government.

The Productivity Commission inquiry into our rights at work could deliver cuts to penalty rates, the abolition of the minimum wage, bring back unfair individual contracts and swing even more power to employers.

Join the national rally on Wednesday 4 March.

Read more

Maitland 2015 NSW State Election Candidates forum

The Maitland Community Unions Alliance invites you to meet your local candidates for the State Election and make your voice heard.

Friday 6 March

6pm – 8:30pm

East Leisure and Golf Club

Tenambit Street, East Maitland

Defending Public Services doorknocking campaign

In the lead up to the NSW election on 28 March, PSA members are taking their first hand experiences of the Baird Government’s privatisation and service cut agenda to the doorsteps of voters.

If you would like to know more or participate in our doorknocking campaign click HERE.

If you are unable to participate in any of these events, you may wish to join teachers, nurses, firefighters and others at one of the doorknock days by organised by Unions NSW.

Click HERE for details.

PSA News – 2 February 2015

Feb 2, 2015

Advocacy and Case Management Officers (several positions)

The PSA is recruiting suitable people to train as Advocacy and Case Management Officers (ACMOs) to work within its Member Support Centre (MSC).

The MSC is the PSA’s call facility, providing a direct line to the PSA for members requiring advice and support on workplace related matters.

The MSC is centrally located in Sydney at PSA Head Office in Clarence Street (near Market Street), with easy access to public transport.

Applications close at close of business on Friday 13 February 2015.

For further information click HERE.

Capability Framework win in TAFE

The PSA has successfully forced TAFE NSW to consult over the implementation of the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework.

The PSA applied to the Fair Work Commission after TAFE NSW refused to comply with the enterprise agreement and meet with us again about the issue.

At the Fair Work Commission, TAFE NSW agreed to provide further information about the implementation of the Capability Framework, and in particular, the impact it will have on staff and measures taken to reduce any adverse effects.

TAFE NSW also agreed to meet with the PSA this week for further discussions and to suspend all action that uses the Capability Framework while consultation takes place.

TAFE NSW informed us that it has advised all Institutes to suspend all processes that use the Capability Framework.

PSA Strategic Plan

The PSA’s Strategy Plan can be viewed HERE.

Defending Public Services doorknocking campaign

In the lead up to the NSW election on 28 March, PSA members are taking their first hand experiences of the Baird Government’s privatisation and service cut agenda to the doorsteps of voters.

If you would like to know more or participate in our doorknocking campaign click HERE.

If you are unable to participate in any of these events, you may wish to join teachers, nurses, firefighters and others at one of the doorknock days by organised by Unions NSW.

Click HERE for details.

Bullying round table

Last week PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner participated in the Public Service Commission’s bullying round table.

The PSA will continue to work closely with the Commission and other unions to develop a sector wide approach to the prevention and management of this issue.

Prisons at breaking point

Following a letter from PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner to the Premier last year, the issue of prison overcrowding has reached crisis point.

Read today’s media release HERE.

PSA scholarship

Applications close on Friday 27 February 2015

For more information click HERE.

PSA News – 19 December 2014

Dec 19, 2014

New pay claim

The PSA has commenced the process to secure an increase to the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The current award expires 30 June 2015.

On 12 December, the PSA wrote to the Department of Industrial Relations seeking a meeting to discuss a timeline for the case.

The views of members on the matter will be canvassed in the New Year.

Daily Telegraph goes inside Silverwater & finds “society’s overlooked heroes”

A reporter who spent the night in Silverwater prison has praised the work of Correctional Officers.

“The tireless men and women of Corrective Services NSW who proudly walk the Silverwater corridors and myriad NSW court cells are society’s overlooked heroes. Putting their lives on the line, dealing with the state’s worst humans every day, but retaining an impressive decorum filled with confidence, compassion and humour, three traits that would be swiftly stripped out of most ordinary souls on day one with a badge.”

Read the full article HERE.

Gap between rich and poor growing under Abbott Government – ACTU

A new Senate report showing Tony Abbott’s budget cuts will worsen inequality and poverty in Australia should serve as a wake-up call to the Federal Government, says the ACTU.

Read the media release HERE.

PSA Christmas closure

The PSA will be closed over the Christmas break from close of business Christmas Eve, 24 December 2014 to Sunday, 4 January 2015.

There will be a skeleton staff from Monday 22 December till Wednesday 24 December.

Do it for Jack Family Appeal

A trust has been established by NSW Police Legacy to provide financial assistance to long-time PSA member Tanya Norman and her husband Craig, following the sad news that their 7-year-old son Jack has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Having spent the best part of the last two years away from the workplace caring for Jack, his parents have very little paid leave left between them to spend time with him. They also have a younger daughter to care for.

Those who wish to donate can make direct transfers to:

Police Bank Account
NSW Police Legacy Do it for Jack Appeal
BSB: 815 000
Acc: 280 219 (S1)

Further information regarding donations and fundraising is also available on the Do It For Jack website set up by NSW Police Legacy HERE.

ACTU survey

What type of Australia do you want for you and your family?

What are the big things that matter to you?

Our living standards are under more and more pressure, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

We can build a vision for Australia that puts working people and their families at the centre.

The ACTU’s our living standards, our voice survey is an opportunity to have your say.

Please note that any information provided to the ACTU maybe shared.

If you do wish to take part click HERE.


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