Bust the Budget Rallies July 6

Jul 3, 2014

As you know, the Federal Government’s 2014 Budget is one of the most brutal in recent history.

Here’s just some of what we have to look forward to if the Abbott Government gets its way:

  • $25.5 billion in funding cuts to health and education in NSW
  • $2.5 billion cut from aged care
  • $7 co-payment for visits to the GP
  • deregulation of university and higher education fees
  • young people left without unemployment benefits 6 months of the year
  • retirement age increased to 70 by 2035

So what can you do?

All across the country protest rallies are taking place in opposition to this unfair budget.

Join the PSA this Sunday July 6 at the Bust the Budget Rally at Sydney Town Hall from 1pm.

Alternatively, you can join one of the following regional rallies:

NEWCASTLE: Civic Park (opposite Town Hall), Newcastle, 1pm, Sunday 6 July

LISMORE: Bust the Budget Picnic, Heritage Park, Lismore, 12 noon, Sunday 6 July

WODONGA: Woodland Grove Park, Corner of High & Hovell Streets, Wodonga, 11am, Sunday 6 July

Members attending the Sydney Town Hall rally should keep an eye out for the red and white PSA flags and gather together.

Come along and take a stand.

Hope to see you there.

PSA News – 25 June 2014

Jun 25, 2014

2014 Salaries case

On 24 June, the Industrial Relations Commission decided, with agreement between the PSA, other public sector unions and the Government, to order an increase of 2.27% to the Public Sector Salaries and related awards effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2014.

The outstanding issue of whether the Commission is required to insert a “no extra claims” clause in the awards will now be dealt with separately on 8 July 2014.

The outcome of this matter will not affect members receiving the pay rise that has now been awarded.

Government secretly changes wages policy Regulation

On 23 June, the PSA and Unions NSW were advised by NSW Industrial Relations that the Government had used a Budget Bill to quietly amend the Wages Policy Regulation to reflect the recent decision of the Court of Appeal.

That ruling upheld the Government’s position that the 2.5% wage cap should be reduced by any rise in superannuation.

The Bill went through the Legislative Council on 19 June unopposed as budget bills cannot be blocked by the Legislative Council.

This underhanded tactic by the Government has meant that it has been able to push through a change to its wages policy that had previously been blocked twice in the Legislative Council.

It is another example of the Government using legislation to override wins by the PSA and other public sector unions in the courts.

It also makes any High Court challenge by public sector unions of the Court of Appeal decision pointless.

The new amended Regulation also nullifies our win in the Court of Appeal regarding excess employees and redundancy that arose from the redundancy case for School Administrative and Support Staff.

The Bill can be found HERE. The relevant sections are contained at Schedule 5 on page 27.

Clearly, the only way to get rid of this Government’s policies is to ensure that the Government itself is dumped at the next election.

PSA News – 20 June 2014

Jun 20, 2014

Your Pay Your Say update

Firstly, thank you to the thousands of members who took part in our “Your Pay Your Say” survey.

Your views helped shape the PSA’s position in the 2014 wage case negotiations.

The PSA along with other public sector unions and the State Government were before the Industrial Relations Commission on 17 June to conciliate (settle) all of the award applications involved.

Following the conciliation, the only outstanding matter to be decided is whether the salaries awards are to contain a “no extra claims” clause. Unions will not agree to this. The State Government will argue before the Industrial Relations Commission on 24 June that any awards should contain a “no extra claims” clause as was recently inserted in the RMS award.

The PSA, other unions and the State Government have agreed to the following:

  1. The Government will consent to an increase in wages, salaries and allowances by 2.27 percent on and from 1 July 2014.
  1. If the unions continue with a High Court challenge of the State Government’s recent Supreme Court decision and that challenge is unsuccessful, the SANCS Act will be enacted so members of the Defined Benefits Schemes have the 0.25 percent increase in superannuation paid into a separate employer contribution account from the first full pay period after 1 July 2013 along with a further 0.25% increase from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014. This provides these members with the same increase in super (0.25%) that has been paid to those in First State from those respective dates. It is this amount (0.25%) which the State Government successfully put to the Supreme Court arguing it should be discounted from the 2.5% salary increase.
  1. While the awards will be varied to reflect the outcome of any proceedings from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014, the State Government reserve the right to argue that the increase may be less than 0.23% already discounted based on factors such its “ability to pay” and other economic considerations.

The PSA and other public sector unions are now deciding whether to continue with their application to appeal to the High Court.

A meeting of the union Secretaries to decide on this issue will be held on Monday 23 June.

PSA News – 4 June 2014

Jun 4, 2014

Bust the budget – Combined delegates meeting

The Abbott Government’s savage budget cuts not only include the GP co-payment, slashing spending on health and education, an attack on the pension and increased uni fees but reduces funding to the State Government.

In response, the NSW Government is now looking at ways to cut costs and that of course will mean targeting the public sector.

To discuss a collective response, a meeting of combined union delegates is being held on:

Thursday June 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The Masonic Centre
66 Goulburn Street, Sydney

Senior Officers

The PSA will be meeting with Jo Grisard, Deputy Public Service Commissioner this week to discuss senior executive changes and issues arising from the senior officer equivalent determination.

The PSA has hundreds of members who may be impacted by these changes.

For further information please click HERE.

A survey will be sent to members in the coming weeks to identify critical areas of concern.

To read the media release regarding last week’s vindication of an SES whistleblower and how it highlighted PSA concerns over contracts click HERE.

Legislative Assembly Inquiry into Debt Recovery in NSW

On 16 May 2014, the PSA’s Research team provided a submission to the Legislative Assembly Legal Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into Debt Recovery in NSW.

The Research team relied heavily on the input, expertise and direction of delegates within the Office of the NSW Sheriff.

The Sheriff’s Officers Vocational Branch of the PSA (SOVBAG) provided unique insight into the debt recovery process.

The submission outlines the benefits of debt recovery remaining in public hands.

It also highlights the risk to the community if debt recovery is outsourced by the NSW Government to private corporations.

You can read the PSA’s submission HERE.

Hurstville move for Births and Marriages Registry death of city service

MEDIA RELEASE

The NSW Government’s announcement yesterday that the offices of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will be moved to Hurstville in 2015 brings to an end more than 150 years of tradition in the Sydney CBD said the Public Service Association (PSA).

The move will severely impact upon the carer’s responsibilities and increase daily travel time for the 140 staff involved, some of whom live nowhere near Hurstville and make the journey to work each day from the Central Coast and Newport.

Read More

Official Govt secrecy over $14 billion cut to public services

An application by the PSA to uncover the truth behind the State Government’s plans to cut $14 billion over 6 years (budget papers 2011/2012) in spending on public services in NSW has again been rejected.

In July last year the PSA applied to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT – now known as the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal) for details of NSW Government plans to cut public sector jobs and services around the state.

The application was in response to a rejected GIPA (Government Information Public Access) request for access to Savings Roadmaps – documents drawn up by department heads outlining how each agency will meet its savings targets.

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal found in favour of the Government that Savings Roadmaps are Cabinet documents and as a result, do not have to be disclosed.

“The rejection of the PSA’s appeal is a disappointing outcome, indicating that the Government intends to operate with secrecy when it comes to decisions they are making on behalf of the community,” said PSA General Secretary Anne Gardiner.

“The NSW Government has denied the public access to information necessary for them to understand how public money is being spent.”

“The Baird Government has failed to produce any sort of plan for the future provision of public services in NSW.”

“The PSA will continue its efforts to hold the Government to account.”

Prison officer, community safety at risk from overcrowded prisons

MEDIA RELEASE

NSW prisons are struggling to cope with an inmate population boom, placing prison officer and community safety at risk, according to the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA).

Read more HERE

PSA Annual Conference 2014

Last week 180 members from across the state meet at PSA House in Sydney for the PSA’s Annual Conference, the biggest event on the union’s calendar each year.

Attendees were not disappointed.

The excellent guest speakers included Public Service Commissioner, Graeme Head, Janet Giles from the ACTU, CPSU-SPSF Federal Secretary, Karen Batt, Travers McLeod from the Centre for Policy Development and Mark Morey from Unions NSW.

The Sydney Trade Union Choir performed in typically rousing fashion and workshops were held on the PSA’s Which direction are we headed? campaign, Productivity, Superannuation and Unions NSW’s Jobs, Rights and Services campaign.

Photos from Annual Conference can be viewed on our Facebook page HERE.

Your pay – Your say web chat

May 20, 2014

As members would be aware, on 6 May, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Baird Government’s position that increases in superannuation are to be included under its wage cap.

This means members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards will, under the 2013 wage case, receive no more than the 2.27% that has been already paid.

This equates to the 2.5% available under the Government’s wages policy discounted by the rise in the superannuation guarantee levy.

The decision could result in members losing out on thousands of dollars of lost wages over the coming years if the superannuation guarantee contribution rises.

We are seeking the opinion of members in relation to an offer received last week from the State Government which proposes a 2.27% increase in salaries in relation to our 2014 pay claim

The rise would be effective from July 2014.

However, this offer was made on the condition that we do not challenge the Court of Appeal decision in the High Court.

To ascertain the thoughts of members, the PSA is holding a web chat titled Your pay – Your say.

It is being held from 12 noon to 2pm on Thursday 22 May 2014.

To be involved click HERE.

 

 

PSA win forces Government to consult

May 15, 2014

The PSA had a significant victory yesterday in relation to consultation mechanisms across the public sector with a win in the Industrial Relations Commission.

In 2012, the State Government introduced a new consultation policy that scrapped the long standing agreed policy from 1997 that set out defined consultation provisions and guaranteed the central role of unions in the process.

The 2012 policy effectively made consultation mere lip service with a broad set of principles.

Worse, the new policy was not an agreed document, and was issued without the agreement of the public sector unions.

The PSA challenged this policy in the Industrial Relations Commission seeking a declaration that the 1997 Consultation Policy was incorporated in the Public Service Conditions of Employment Award and as such remained alive.

The matter was heard before Justice Walton on 22 November 2013.

Yesterday, 14 May, the decision was handed down and we won.

You can read the full decision HERE.

Justice Walton found that, “The necessary implication must be that, if management and the PSA are to effectively consult on ‘matters of mutual interest and concern, both formal and informal’, they are required to do so in accordance with the 1997 Consultative Arrangements.”

Justice Walton further stated, “In my opinion, the language of cl.65.1, when read in context, confirms an intention that there be an effective means of consultation between management and the PSA in the form of the 1997 Consultative Arrangements which carried with it a legal obligation to comply with those Arrangements. ……The parties will be required to act in accordance with those provisions by undertaking consultation within the framework of those Arrangements and, in the case of terms expressed as being obligatory, to act accordingly.”

You can read the 1997 Consultation Policy HERE.

The impact of yesterday’s decision will not be felt immediately but it forces the Government to rethink what is meant by genuine consultation.

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