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Central Coast deserves better than 300 job cuts and slashed vital services says union

Apr 3, 2017

PSA Media release:

The NSW Government has slashed 300 public sector jobs on the Central Coast, with the privatisation of Disability Services and Out Of Home Care now also eating away at the community said the Public Service Association (PSA).

“This is a Government that just builds roads, not communities or a society,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“The Central Coast is out of sight and out of mind as far as this Government is concerned with the highest rate of vulnerable children in Out Of Home Care of all FACS districts in the state.”

“The Government’s ongoing privatisation agenda is setting up the Central Coast to fail spectacularly.”

“If the Government really wants to make a difference to the lives of the people of NSW, it should urgently rethink the catastrophic plan to privatise the Land Titles Registry, a move condemned by everyone from academics to property developers and pull back from the forced transfer of state disability services.”

“The Government trumpets its efforts on ‘life-changing projects’ but what could be more life changing for millions of people across NSW than to lose the security on their property?

“What could be more life changing for tens of thousands of families than to have the care of loved ones with disability thrown into free fall after the Government completely steps away from that space?”

“NSW will be the only state in Australia with no Government safety net for people with disability.”

“On the Central Coast alone, that will impact on 2,735 clients.”

“This is a Government that washes its hands of all social responsibility whether it’s starving the world class TAFE system of funds while throwing millions at dodgy private providers or pushing vulnerable kids into a non-Government Out of Home Care system and then reading the horror stories in the media.”

The NSW Government employs almost 10% of all workers in the Central Coast and is by far the largest employer in the region.

Ministry of Health Meeting with Minister Hazzard on February 28

Mar 2, 2017

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Ministry of Health Meeting with Minister Hazzard on February 28 – March 2017 (PDF version)

Meeting with the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research

PSA Delegate and Central Councillor Julie Westacott, along with General Secretary Stewart Little, Industrial Manager Kris Cruden and Industrial Officer Carmel McKeough met with the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research on Tuesday, 28 February 2017.

The PSA raised the following issues:

  • The importance of consultation and the need for the Ministry of Health to adhere to Agency Change Management Guidelines when considering a restructure, however small the proposed changes may be.
  • The proposed relocation of the Ministry of Health to St Leonards, the possible consequences in terms of further organisational change, and the need for consultation with staff and unions earlier rather than later in the process.
  • Concern about the number of contractors in the Ministry of Health, which means fewer opportunities for ongoing roles for our members. It was also noted contractors were attending training programs then leaving the Ministry at the end of their contract having received extensive training at taxpayers’ expense.

The PSA advised the Minister health bureaucrats perform key functions such as developing initiatives to improve public health and reduce the incidence of disease which benefits patients and families across NSW. This is in addition to supporting the Minister in terms of his legislative program and ensuring he is briefed for each Parliamentary sitting week. Rather than being dismissed as just a bureaucrat in North Sydney, their contribution to the health system needs to be recognised and their jobs protected.

The PSA requested consideration be given to briefing health unions about the State Budget in June 2017. This was a practice which occurred in previous years, but has recently lapsed.

We agreed that we have common goals to achieve a strong health system for the people of NSW but would have our differences from time to time. The meeting was very productive, as Minister Hazzard was receptive to our requests for improved consultation.

What you can do

If changes in your workplace are proposed, ask your managers about the policies they will be guided by and how they will ensure their proposals comply with Agency Change Management Guidelines. View the Agency Change Management Guidelines HERE.

Also get in touch with your delegates in the Ministry of Health:

  • Julie Westacott
  • John Bertacco
  • Peter Gilfedder

You can also contact the PSA’s Member Support Centre for initial advice on 1300 772 679.

If your matter is complex it will be referred to one of your union’s Industrial Officers.

You can support the work of the PSA and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN the Union.

Land and Property Information rally and BBQ

Feb 9, 2017

PSA General Secretary Stewart Little addresses a rally outside the soon to be privatised Land and Property Information Service at Queen’s Square in Sydney.

“Everything about this sale is wrong!”

Record NSW prison population, rising assault rate, show a system ‘in a crisis’ – The Sydney Morning Herald

Feb 1, 2017

PSA General Secretary Stewart Little told the Sydney Morning Herald that overcrowding in the state’s prisons are seeing prisoners three up in cells. A recipe for disaster.

“It’s increasing the risks for [staff] at work. Assault rates have dramatically escalated, both inmate on inmate and – of particular concern to us – inmate on officer, and it’s just unacceptable.”

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article HERE.

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