PSA News – 25 September 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Riot at Goulburn prison highlights need for proper workers comp

MEDIA RELEASE
22 September 2014

The riot at the maximum security Goulburn Prison over the weekend highlighted the need for proper workers compensation for the state’s Prison Officers said the Public Service Association (PSA).

While no officers were injured in the disturbance which involved approximately 30 inmates, injuries to Prison Officers are common in overcrowded prisons such as Goulburn.

NSW Prison Officers – like most workers in NSW – lost many of their workers compensation entitlements in the 2012 reform of the system by the Coalition State Government.

Read more

Click HERE to hear Steve McMahon, Chair of the Prison Officers Vocational Branch of the PSA talking about the disturbance on 2GB on 23 September.

Steve was on 2GB with Ray Hadley again on 24 and 25 September.

National Parks Rangers deserve better

Letter to the Sydney Morning Herald

The remark by Robert Brown of the Shooters Party (“$7150 for each animal killed in hunting trial”, September 24) likening National Parks rangers to “toilet cleaners” is ignorant in the extreme.

This type of attitude is deeply troubling as it feeds directly into the same broad disrespect for public servants we saw following the shooting of Glen Turner and the subsequent appalling political posturing.

Read more

Rally to present NDIS petitions to Parliament

A rally will be held in November to present the petitions that have been collected against the privatisation of disability and home care services to Parliament.

The rally will be outside Parliament House in Sydney on Thursday, 13 November 2014 between 12 pm and 1pm.

All members are encouraged to attend.

Please apply for flex leave or other leave in order to attend the rally.

A rally was held at Albion Park in Wollongong on 19 September to stop the privatisation of disability & home care services.

View some pictures of the rally HERE

Consultation on the proposed Shared and Corporate Services Reform Agenda

On 19 September, PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner wrote to NSW Industrial Relations raising the need for proper consultation before decisions are made on the Corporate Services Reform Agenda.

Read the letter HERE

If members wish to raise specific concerns about the Shared Corporate and Services Reform Agenda, please email research@psa.asn.au.

Unions NSW Safety and Injured Workers Conference 2014

Unions NSW’s Safety and Injured Workers Conference 2014 is being held on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 October at the Trades Hall Auditorium, Corner Goulburn and Sussex Streets, Sydney.

The conference is free and targeted at health and safety representatives, injured workers, and union officials.

For more information click HERE

Home Care sell-off adds to mass privatisation toll

MEDIA RELEASE
23 September 2014

The Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, John Ajaka, has announced that the Home Care Service of NSW is transitioning to the non-government sector as part of the NDIS, expanding the scope of the largest ever sell-off of government services in this state, said the Public Service Association (PSA).

Home Care provides vital services to the community such as personal care, domestic assistance, respite (support for carers) and social support (for Aboriginal Home Care) to younger clients with a disability as well as aged clients.

Read more

Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Training

Unions NSW is conducting the two Health and Safety Representative Training courses in October and November.

Read more

PSA News – 12 September 2014

Sep 12, 2014

Union disgusted at decreased worker protections after shooting

PSA media release

The PSA is appalled that in the wake of the shooting death of compliance officer Glen Turner, a bill has been proposed that will reduce penalties for obstructing the work of public servants.

The Shooters and Fishers Party’s Native Vegetation Amendment Bill 2014 proposes a reduction in penalties for “obstructing an authorised officer in the exercise of the officer’s investigative functions”, a move that would put environmental compliance officers in even greater danger.

Read more HERE

Unions NSW combined delegates & activists meeting

On Wednesday 17 September Unions NSW are holding a combined delegates & activists meeting between 12:30pm and 1.30pm at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

For further information click HERE

Outstanding PSA fees amnesty for those who rejoin the PSA

The PSA has decided to hold a fees amnesty for former PSA members.

We would rather have these members back than insist that outstanding fees be paid before ex-members can rejoin.

Conditions apply:

  1. You need to have been resigned off the membership system.

It is not intended for current members who have fallen behind in fees prior to the commencement of the amnesty on 7 August 2014.

  1. You will not be retrospectively covered during the period you did not pay fees.

Often members, through no fault of their own, let their membership lapse when they move from department to department or in and out of the service.

We understand this.

If you know former members who may be reluctant to rejoin the PSA due to owing back fees, please pass on the news of the fees amnesty.

The amnesty ends at 5pm Friday 26 September 2014.

New and resigned members can join online HERE

Or download a hard copy HERE

For further information: call 1300 772 679 or email amnesty@psa.asn.au.

Petition count against ADHC privatisation over 11,000

Keep them coming.

Download and print a copy of the Disability and Home Care Petition HERE

Fight to catch illegal fishing – The Sunday Telegraph

The great work of our members in NSW Fisheries has been highlighted in the Sunday Telegraph.

You can read the story HERE

Membership Service Centre – change of hours

The PSA’s Member Support Centre (1300 772 679) has changed its hours of operation.

The MSC will now be open between the following hours:

Monday 9am to 5pm
Tuesday 9am to 4pm
Wednesday 9am to 5pm
Thursday 9am to 5pm
Friday 9am to 5pm

March on Abbott’s office – Saturday 20 September

Bust the budget and save Medicare.

For more information click HERE.

Bullying survey

A researcher at Charles Sturt University is conducting a study into workplace bullying and harassment including employee behaviour and perceptions of support provided by organisations.

Click HERE to participate in the survey.

The survey closes on Tuesday 30 September 2014.

The survey is anonymous and does not request any identifying information.

PSA News – 2 September 2014

Sep 2, 2014

People Matter Employee Survey

The results of the 2014 People Matter survey have been released.

Almost 20% of the sector completed the survey with 73,550 employees taking part.

The PSA has requested a briefing on the results from the Public Service Commission at the September sector wide consultative committee.

The report is available HERE.

PSA responds to Ajaka on ADHC privatisation

PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner has challenged the views of Minister Ajaka about the privatisation of ADHC in the Illawarra Mercury.

You can read her response HERE.

SASS Recognition Week – Monday 1 to Friday 5 September 2014

SASS Recognition Week is an annual opportunity for everyone in the school community in NSW to acknowledge the vital work performed by School Administrative and Support (SAS) Staff in the public education system.

This year SASS Recognition Week runs from Monday 1 to Friday 5 September 2014 with the theme “School Administrative and Support Staff: Stepping up to the Challenge.”

Every day of the school year SAS Staff face new challenges in the delivery of quality public education.

Recognition Week provides the whole school with an opportunity to demonstrate to SAS Staff that their hard work and dedication is appreciated.

The PSA wishes all SAS Staff an enjoyable Recognition Week.

Public servant corruptly sacked

SES Deputy Commissioner and whistleblower Tara McCarthy is yet to be reinstated three months after she was vindicated by the ICAC.

The Sydney Morning Herald covered the situation over the weekend.

You can read the Herald story HERE.

Review of the functions of the WorkCover Authority

In 2013, the Law and Justice Committee commenced a review of the functions of WorkCover which is responsible for ensuring productive, healthy and safe workplaces in New South Wales.

The Committee will be handing down its report shortly.

The report may have a significant impact on the operations of WorkCover.

The report, when available, will be HERE.

Glen Turner Trust – donations

An account to accept donations for Alison, Alexandra and Jack, the family of Glen Turner, has been set up.

The family will have immediate access to the funds.

The details are:

Account name: Glen Turner Trust

BSB: 062-602 (Commonwealth Bank)

Account number: 10601120.

The PSA Executive has approved a $2000 donation.

PSA fees increase

PSA membership fees increase from 1 September 2014 by 2.27%.

It follows the recent public sector pay rise from 1 July although the PSA membership increase is not retrospective.

Details can be viewed at the bottom of this page:

https://membership.psa.asn.au/join/

PSA News – 1 August 2014

Aug 1, 2014

Recreation leave reduction not open license for managers

A recent circular issued by the Treasury directs public sector agencies (including related entities and State Owned Corporations) to make all “reasonable attempts” to reduce the recreation leave balances of employees to 30 days or fewer by 30 June 2015.

This is not, however, an open invitation for managers to direct staff to take leave whenever they see fit.

Awards and agreements negotiated by the PSA set out the circumstances in which employees can be directed to take leave.

For members covered by the Crown Employees (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009, such a direction can only be given when the balance exceeds 30 days.

In this case, the leave should be taken within three months of the employee receiving written notification, or within six weeks if the balance exceeds 40 days.

The Award states that whenever possible, the staff member’s wishes should be accommodated as to when leave is taken.

The PSA can assist members in making sure this intention is respected when measures are put into practice by agencies and employers.

In a climate of ongoing job cuts, a major reason for high leave accrual across the sector is of course that large workloads prevent staff from taking time off.

The general sense of insecurity that hovers over the public sector can also make absences more stressful than restful.

If you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of your agency’s approach to reducing leave balances or approving leave, or if you have any questions regarding your entitlements, please speak with your union delegate or contact the PSA Member Support Centre (1300 772 679).

It’s worth noting that the Crown Employees Award and other awards and agreements negotiated by the PSA allow members to purchase additional annual leave by reducing their salary by a proportionate amount.

These arrangements may assist members looking to plan for longer periods of leave.

Worse than WorkChoices in Tasmania

Tasmanian Premier Hodgman, Treasurer Gutwein and their cabinet colleagues have shamefully abused their legislative powers to override state service agreements and awards.

The Community & Public Sector Union (SPSF Group) Tasmania Branch were not briefed in any meaningful way by Government, but understands that Cabinet:

  • will reduce all headline salary increases to 0% for a period of 12 months from the enactment of legislation. These increases were to be 2% for most employees or $1,000 for those on the lowest classifications
  • has further determined it will freeze any incremental progression and performance-based increments

In addition, the Government:

  • will stop workers from meaningfully bargaining for wages after the one year pay and increment freeze. This appears to apply in perpetuity.
  • will introduce two separate Bills to achieve its objectives. One creates a new statute to over-ride the current negotiated and agreed salary increases & increments and the other amends the Industrial Relations Act 1984 to render bargaining on wages meaningless.
  • aims to have the Bills through both houses of Parliament by October.

Workers first heard of this decision about their future from the media.

The Tasmanian Industrial Commission will be limited to only making wage decisions that conform to Government policy.

Sound familiar?

There is no guarantee or commitment from Government that these vicious measures will save even one job.

What’s clear is these measures will make savings independent of the job losses the government has already flagged.

So, in essence, they will attack agreed wages and conditions AND further compromise already stretched services to the community by targeting 1,500 FTE positions.

The Community & Public Sector Union (SPSF Group) Tasmania Branch are exploring all legal options to challenge the legislation and will lobby the Legislative Council to vote down the Bills.

The union is holding a rally on Budget Day, 28 August.

Post a message of support on https://www.facebook.com/cpsutas?fref=nf

Hands off public health

Truth behind the GP Fee & user-pays model

The Save Medicare Committee are hosting a public forum to discuss the fight for universal public health.

Speakers are:

Coral Levett, President of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association

Ben Spies-Butcher (Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Macquarie University)

Jason Williams (Construction worker from the US on the American health system)

The forum will be held:

Wednesday 6 August
6.00 for 6.30pm
Trades Hall Auditorium
4 Goulburn Street, Sydney

PSA News – 24 July 2014

Jul 24, 2014

Government’s Decade of Decentralisation a road to anywhere cheap

In November 2012, the State Government appointed the NSW Decentralisation Taskforce to undertake a review of the so called Decade of Decentralisation policy.

Unsurprisingly, while the Government says the policy is all about better servicing and supporting regional communities, the bottom line really, as always, is about cost savings and “efficiencies”.

The NSW Decentralisation Taskforce provided its report to the Government in April 2013.

You can read the report HERE.

In August 2013, the Government responded.

You can read that report HERE.

Now that response is slowly being actioned.

In March, the Government used the media to announce that more than 3,000 public servants were to be relocated to Sydney’s west and south-west.

Among the moves flagged was Sport and Recreation shifting from Olympic Park to Penrith, the Office of Environment and Heritage to share space in Parramatta with the Office of State Revenue and the relocation of areas of Family and Community Services.

In early June it was announced that the CBD offices of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will be moved to Hurstville in 2015, bringing to an end more than 150 years of tradition in the centre of the city.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Acting CEO has released a statement advising staff that “as part of this whole of government program, Roads and Maritime Services is considering a number of options to reduce the cost of office accommodation, particularly within the Sydney CBD.”

“One such option is the potential relocation of around a thousand staff from the existing leased site in North Sydney to existing Government-owned offices including Rozelle, Parramatta and a vacant building in Ennis Road Kirribilli.”

“This option, which would be implemented from 2016, would potentially save Government approximately $10 million per annum which could be reinvested into frontline staff and infrastructure.”

WorkCover have now sent a memo to its staff to advise it will not be renewing their Surry Hills, Hurstville and Liverpool leases that are due to expire towards the end of 2014 and in early 2015.

Staff from Sydney CBD South, Blacktown, Parramatta, Liverpool and Hurstville will be relocated to new offices in Baulkham Hills and Liverpool.

Annual PSA Women’s Conference 2014

Registrations are now open for PSA Women’s Conference.

This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, 9 and Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 at PSA House, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney.

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

Register for the conference HERE.

Registrations close on Thursday, 31 July 2014.

Payment of 2.27% increase

Members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards will receive an increase of 2.27% from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014.

Any Department unable to process the rise on the day of that first full pay period will be required to pay the increase retrospectively in the next.

Sign our petition to help stop the privatisation of NSW

While the PSA strongly supports the principles behind the NDIS, the total privatisation of ADHC will dramatically undermine choice and the provision of quality services for clients.

The implementation of the NDIS will be far more effective if the Government retains a key role in delivering this vital human service.

To make matters worse, the Government so far has failed to make a commitment to protect the job security, conditions, entitlements and pay of the public servants who are to be transferred, like it or not, to a private employer.

This is undoubtedly just the beginning of a mass sell off of public services in NSW.

Please sign the petition HERE and ask your family, work colleagues and friends to sign also.

Note: we must have original signatures on the petition, no photocopies, faxes or email.

So please print a copy, collect as many signatures as you can, and post the petition back to:

Valerie Morales
Public Service Association of NSW
GPO Box 3365
Sydney NSW 2001

by Friday, 10 October 2014

Help stop the privatisation of NSW

Jul 7, 2014

In 2013, the NSW Government passed legislation which allowed for the forced transfer of public servants working in Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to a private employer.

Under the guise of implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Government intends to have ADHC fully privatised by 2018, the largest ever sell off and sell out of government services in this state.

While the PSA strongly supports the principles behind the NDIS, the total privatisation of ADHC will dramatically undermine choice and the provision of quality services for clients.

The implementation of the NDIS will be far more effective if the Government retains a key role in delivering this vital human service.

To make matters worse, the Government so far has failed to make a commitment to protect the job security, conditions, entitlements and pay of the public servants who are to be transferred, like it or not, to a private employer.

This is unprecedented in the privatisation arena, and given Premier Baird has been nicknamed the “privatisation Premier” by the mainstream media is undoubtedly just the beginning of a mass sell off of public services in NSW.

That’s why we must act now and nip this in the bud.

Please sign the petition HERE and ask your family, work colleagues and friends to sign also.

As it is a parliamentary petition, we need original signatures on the petition.

So collect as many signatures as you can and post the petition back to:

The Public Service Association of NSW GPO Box 3365 Sydney NSW 2001

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