PSA News – 2 December 2014

Dec 2, 2014

No extra claims case

The capacity of the PSA to run matters in the Industrial Relations Commission on behalf of members is currently on the line in a case before a Full Bench of the Commission.

The NSW Government is attempting to force the Industrial Relations Commission to include a no extra claims clause in each of our awards that have been varied this year to pass on the 2.27% pay increase.

If successful, the clause may be used to prevent the PSA from pursing certain matters on behalf of members covered by those awards.

The hearing for the no extra claims matter took place on 27 November 2014.

The PSA argued that the compulsory inclusion of such clauses is not required by the Industrial Relations Act and so should not be included.

The PSA is expecting a decision on this matter late in 2014 or early 2015.

A separate hearing regarding the inclusion of a no extra claims clause in the recently completed RMS Award is being heard on 16 December 2014.

In recognition of the on-going attack by this Government on the powers of the Commission, the PSA has reorganised its resources so that there can be a stronger focus on organising member strength.

Thank you for your applications

In March of this year the PSA established the Member Support Centre (MSC).

This significant change to the way the union does business was critical in order to assist members facing the Government’s massive and continuous changes to employment arrangements.

In addition to the MSC, it was determined the union would benefit from having additional staff with a contemporary understanding of the impact of these significant changes.

Accordingly, in September, the PSA advertised several positions amongst its membership.

This was done on the basis that if suitable applicants could not be found the positions would be advertised more broadly.

As expected, the standard of applicants was very high and we are pleased to announce that members from TAFE, Legal Aid, Corrective Services and the Public Service Commission have now commenced or will soon be starting work with the PSA.

Thanks to all those who applied.

Assignment to Roles – PSA response

Further to our last email on the draft assignment to role guidelines please find below the PSA’s most recent response to the Public Service Commission HERE

PSA News – 18 November 2014

Nov 18, 2014

Draft Assignment to Role Guidelines

Thank you to those members who participated in the PSA survey on the Public Service Commission’s Draft Assignment to Role Guidelines.

This survey was completed by more than 800 members who are covered under the Government Sector Employment Act.

The priority concerns raised by members will help shape the PSA’s response to the Public Service Commission which is due on 21 November.

Greens’ bill to save TAFE defeated by Baird Government

The Greens’ bid to bring TAFE back from the brink in NSW has been blocked by a coalition of MPs hell-bent on handing over public money to private for-profit training providers at the public provider’s expense.

A bill introduced by Greens NSW MP John Kaye and passed by the NSW Upper House in June was defeated in the Legislative Assembly last Thursday 13 November.

Read the media release and see who voted to save TAFE and who didn’t HERE.

Further information regarding temporary employees

On 4 November, PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner emailed members about a significant win for temporary employees.

Read the email HERE.

The PSA has now provided feedback to the Public Service Commissioner about the proposed amendments to the Government Sector Employment Rules 2014.

Read the letter HERE.

Financial transparency in the PSA

The summary of PSA Financial Accounts for the year ended December 2013 is published in the current Red Tape.

This summary can be found HERE.

Despite reduced income for this period, the PSA has been able to post an overall profit.

Members and the community say NO to ADHC privatisation

Well done to all PSA members who attended last Thursday’s anti-privatisation rally at Parliament House.

A petition with 25,000 signatures was presented at the rally.

Around 1,000 union members, clients, their parents and carers, and members of the community took part in the rally which exposed the Government’s intention to privatise all of Ageing, Disability and Home Care services.

This was no easy achievement given the extraordinary lengths the NSW Government has gone to in order to disguise this privatisation from NSW voters.

Read PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner’s speech at the rally HERE.

The rally forced the NSW Government to expose its position to public scrutiny on a wide range of issues, including what it intends to do with around $800 million worth of assets, protection of quality jobs, pay and workplace rights and how it will ensure that people continue to receive the services they need.

There is still a considerable amount of work ahead in order to win this fight, but last Thursday showed that it is indeed winnable.

Delegates and staff of the PSA have already met to discuss the next stage of the campaign.

Join the conversation by following the campaign on Twitter HERE.

Also comment using #arealchoice

And go to the PSA Facebook page HERE and the Hands off public disability services in NSW Facebook page HERE and like and share far and wide.

You can also direct parents and supporters in the community to ourchoiceisadhc.com

PSA News – 7 November 2014

Nov 7, 2014

TAFE Changes Moratorium Bill

The TAFE Changes Moratorium (Secure Future for Public Provision of Vocational Education and Training) Bill 2014 which was introduced by The Greens’ John Kaye is before the NSW Parliament.

The Bill aims to:

  • restore TAFE funding by reversing massive budget cuts;
  • recognise TAFE NSW as the principal provider of vocational education and training;
  • stop rising fees and job losses; and
  • freeze the NSW Government’s funding to private providers.

A copy of the Bill can be found HERE.

PSA win ensures rights of FACS workers to stand up on 13 November

The Government’s attempt to prevent FACS staff from attending the Thursday 13 November rally outside Parliament House against the privatisation of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) has been successfully blocked by a strong PSA response.

The PSA is holding the rally on 13 November to hand over a petition containing nearly 25,000 signatures of NSW voters with PSA members committing in large numbers to attend.

On 31 October, FACS Head Office issued a directive to managers that no further leave or extended breaks were to be granted for 13 November, attempting to block staff from attending the rally.

The PSA quickly lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission which was heard by the Acting President of the IRC, Justice Boland on 5 November.

Justice Boland stated that “the approach of the Department was somewhat heavy handed”.

As a result, FACS has confirmed that it will remove the blanket ban and advise that normal leave practices will apply for 13 November.

The fact that the Government attempted to stop staff from attending this rally highlights the effectiveness of PSA members standing up for their rights, and demonstrates why you need to attend the rally on 13 November.

Attend the rally at Macquarie Street, Sydney at 12.00 on Thursday 13 November

Service NSW – call for papers

On 4 November, The Greens John Kaye put forward a motion in Parliament calling for the release of all papers referring to:

1) Any analysis of the cost and effectiveness of Services NSW and any plans to change the delivery mode or the structure of Service NSW, including:
 • The nature of delivery at sites
 • The number and location of sites
 • The number of employees in each location and any proposed changes to staff EFT numbers
 • The number and cost of proposed redundancies
 • Regional impact statements
 • The timetable for the opening of new service centres
 • Opening hours.
2) Any plans to close any or all of:
 • Fair Trading sites
 • NSW registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages sites
 • Motor Registries
 • Any other NSW government service site as consequence of the opening of Service NSW centres
 • The timetable for the closure of sites.
3) Expenditure on consultants and the services provided.

Assignment to Role survey – reminder

There has been a fantastic response to the PSA’s survey on the draft Assignment to Role Guidelines released by the Public Service Commission.

View a copy of the draft Guidelines HERE.

The Assignment to Role process stands to have a significant impact on employment in the NSW public sector for those covered by the Government Sector Employment Act.

This does not include TAFEs, Universities, schools – other than General Assistants – or State Owned Corporations.

The PSA will report back with the survey results which will form the basis of our response to the Government.

Hats off to ODPP

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has made all its long-term temporary employees permanent.

This is a great outcome, both for the workers concerned and the services provided by ODPP.

Hopefully, all agencies will follow their example.

Coniston DOCS walk out in staffing protest

Staff at the Coniston office of the Department of Community Services walked off the job for one hour at 12 noon on 5 November in protest at a critical lack of staffing which is leaving vulnerable children in the Illawarra at risk.

More than 30 staff took part in the action which was covered by the local media.

Read the story in the Illawarra Mercury HERE.

Shattered staff at the Coniston office took similar action in 2013 following a tragic and avoidable incident in Wollongong.

The office had lost an entire team, equivalent to six full-time caseworkers.

Their action began a domino effect with Community Services offices across the state walking off the job to highlight their own concerns about staffing levels.

The situation has since declined further with up to 10 child protection positions lost at Coniston in the past two years.

Bankstown/East Hills Jobs, Rights, Services rally and forum

There will be a rally on Tuesday 11 November, 2014 at the office of Glenn Brookes MP (20 Revesby Place, Revesby) at 5.00pm and then a public forum between 6.00pm and 7.30pm at Revesby Workers Club with speakers including PSA Assistant General Secretary, Steve Turner.

Download the flyer HERE.

Attention all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members

The PSA is updating its database in relation to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members.

Having your name, work location, email address (home and work) and phone number (work and mobile) on file allows your union to better communicate with you.

Most importantly, we encourage you to identify as being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander member.

Please send these details to Daniel Willis at dwillis@psa.asn.au.

PSA News – 4 November 2014

Nov 4, 2014

PSA disputes FACS direction against leave for November 13 rally

As you are aware the PSA is holding a rally outside Parliament House at midday on Thursday 13 November to present a petition which calls on the NSW Government to protect the conditions, job security and pay of ADHC workers and cease the wholesale privatisation of Ageing, Disability and Home Care services.

This petition has been signed by nearly 25,000 people across NSW.

FACS has advised its staff that:

  1. new flex time or recreation leave applications will not be approved for 13 November 2014; and
  1. extended lunch breaks greater than an hour will not be granted.

This blanket direction appears to be an act of political interference aimed at protecting the interests of the NSW Government.

It denies the industrial and human rights of public sector workers to protest in support of their employment conditions and workplace rights.

Accordingly, the PSA has lodged a dispute in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

The union continues to urge members to attend the rally, using lunch break, flex time, annual leave or an RDO.

Contact the PSA immediately if you are denied any of these forms of legitimate leave to attend the rally.

Email: facsorganising@psa.asn.au

RSVP for the rally here: arealchoicerally@psa.asn.au

Download a Rally Flyer HERE

Positive outcomes

Oct 24, 2014

Tara McCarthy reinstatement a victory

For the last 18 months the PSA has been working to have Tara McCarthy, the first female deputy Commissioner in the history of the State Emergency Services reinstated after she was corruptly sacked.

Today, it has been announced that Deputy Commissioner McCarthy will return to her position.

This is an important win not only for Deputy Commissioner McCarthy, but also for the broader membership as it has given the PSA an opportunity to highlight the unfair nature of the contracts that thousands of public servants are being forced to sign.

The matter has also brought the Government’s attention to shortcomings in the Protected Information Disclosure (PID) Act.

Click HERE to read the PSA’s media release.

Government response to WorkCover Parliamentary Inquiry into bullying

Members may remember the unfair dismissal case fought by the PSA for Wayne Butler from WorkCover.

I forwarded damning sections of the Industrial Relations Commission’s judgement to all members on the day it was handed down by Deputy Commissioner Rodney Harrison.

This case then resulted in a broader parliamentary inquiry into bullying inside WorkCover, the workplace health and safety regulator.

Last Friday I received the Government’s positive response to the Parliamentary Inquiry.

Click HERE to view that response.

PSA delegates and members in WorkCover should be very proud of what they have achieved and for the way in which they have supported their fellow PSA member, Mr Butler.

It is worth noting that both of the above matters have been actively pursued in State Parliament by Greens Upper House MLC David Shoebridge and I would like to thank him for this support.

Response from Public Service Commissioner regarding temps

On 17 October, I emailed relevant members about serious concerns for temporary staff employed under the GSE Act.

The PSA has now received a response from the Public Service Commissioner acknowledging these concerns.

You can read that response HERE.

We will keep members informed of any further developments.

In Unity

Anne Gardiner
General Secretary
Public Service Association of NSW

PSA News – 10 October 2014

Oct 10, 2014

Privatisation of State Fleet

Even when a Government department is making a profit for the people of NSW, this Government wants to privatise it.

Read the letter to the Minister from PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner HERE.

Stop the power sell off

In 2012-13, the poles and wires of the electricity network added $1.672 billion to the NSW budget through dividends and tax equivalents.

Go to the Stop the Sell Off campaign website where you can sign-up for campaign updates and read the latest news HERE.  

GIPA

The Baird Government has made it far more difficult to access information.

The PSA continues to seek out what is important to members through the Government Information (Public Access) Act.

For a list of our current applications click HERE.

TAFE Cuts – Community forum

The Shire Community Union Alliance is holding a TAFE Cuts forum on Tuesday 28 October at Gymea Tradies at 6pm for 6.30pm.

Guest speakers are:

  • Mark Lennon, Unions NSW Secretary
  • Steve Turner, PSA Assistant General Secretary
  • Maxine Sharkey, NSW Teachers Federation Assistant Secretary

Home Care membership on the rise

A Home Care office in the Illawarra has recently seen a 50% increase in PSA membership.

This is in no small part due to the great work of active members.

Read more

Scientifically speaking

Are you a scientist or work in a scientific role? The PSA wants to hear from you to strengthen our database.

Contact research@psa.asn.au with your name, agency/department /university and position with a short description of the service you provide to the community.

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