Dec 12, 2017

Merry Christmas from CPSU NSW (PSA)

Merry Christmas from CPSU NSW (PSA) – December 2017 (PDF version)

We’re approaching another festive period and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the delegates and members who contribute to make the CPSU NSW (PSA) such a united, strong and respected union. As in other years, the Government has announced a Christmas closedown for the 2017-18 Christmas and New Year period.

The dates for this closedown are Monday 25 December 2017 until Friday 5 January 2018 inclusive.

You can read the Government announcement HERE.

Can I work during the closedown period?

While the NSW Government encourages all non-frontline areas to shut down over the Christmas and New Year period, you are not required to put up a justification or a ‘business case’ to explain why you do not want to take leave.

Staff who intend to work should contact their relevant manager with their proposed dates.

Some agencies will be required to maintain full or reduced services. This means at least some staff may have to work through this period.

Unless you can be directed to take leave (see below), it is your choice as to whether you work or not. If your office is going to be shut, a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you.

Can I be directed to take recreation leave due to the closedown?

You can be told to take recreation leave if you have an ‘excess’ balance of 40 days or more as defined by clause 90.2.3 of the TAFE Commission of NSW Administrative, Support and Related Employees Enterprise Agreement 2016. For shift workers, an ‘excess’ balance is 50 days.

Under Clause 90.2.5, TAFE NSW may direct an employee to take their annual leave to reduce all leave balances below 8 weeks or its hourly equivalent “within a reasonable time period and at a time convenient to TAFE NSW”.

The PSA encourages members to regularly take recreation leave for their own health and welfare. Christmas and the New Year are a great time to do so.

Can I be directed to take extended (long service) leave or leave without pay?

You cannot be directed to take extended leave, long service leave or leave without pay. However, if you have no recreation leave or not enough recreation leave available, and you want to take the time off, you can request to take leave without pay. You can also utilise your banked flex days or banked rostered days off.

Public holidays for Christmas and New Year

The following dates are Public Holidays as set out in the 2016 Christmas Closedown Premier’s Memorandum:

  • 2017 – Monday 25 December,
  • Tuesday 26 December (Boxing Day)
  • Monday 1 January

Many agencies, including TAFE NSW, also have a Public Service Holiday around this time, usually on the day following Boxing Day, Wednesday 27 December.

Season’s greetings

Let me take this opportunity to wish all members and their families best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year from me, my family and all the staff here at the PSA/CPSU (NSW).

I hope you have a joyous and restful break, and return to work with the same dedication to public service you have displayed throughout 2017.

Should you have any questions about this bulletin, or require the support of your union during the Christmas period, please contact the CPSU NSW (PSA) Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

As always, the CPSU NSW (PSA) will be there to support you when you need us, just as you support the people of NSW.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stewart Little
General Secretary

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