Ministry of Health – Failure to consult and lack of transparency
The PSA is extremely concerned about the Ministry’s relocation to interim accommodation across two sites ahead of moving to a permanent site at St Leonards in 2020.
The interim move for what the Secretary says will be 15-18 months is extremely disruptive to the hard working and committed staff of the Ministry, reflects poor planning and decision making on the part of the Executive and is an additional impost on the taxpayers of NSW. We also note the bad timing – the lead up to, during and aftermath of the 2019 State election.
Despite the fact that our members are affected by this decision there was no consultation with the PSA about the interim move. We heard the rumours but no one at senior level in the Ministry initiated a consultative process. This is completely contrary to clause 65.1 in the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 which requires that:
There shall be effective consultation, as set out in the Consultation Arrangements Policy and Guidelines document, on matters of mutual interest and concern, both formal and informal, between management and the Association.
Genuine and meaningful consultation may have resulted in a better outcome than two moves in two years and the Ministry dispersed over two sites in temporary accommodation.
PSA General Secretary Stewart Little has written to Deputy Secretary Phil Minns with our concerns about the Ministry’s failure to consult with the PSA and other issues. The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) is the forum where such key issues should be discussed but time and again the Ministry has few substantive matters it wishes to raise.
We’ve also highlighted our concerns about the Ministry’s lack of transparency in relation to the way contractor numbers are reported. At the last meeting of the JCC they couldn’t even tell us whether the number they provided (111) included all branches in the Ministry or excluded those branches under Health System Support Group!
You can read the General Secretary’s letter HERE.
We will continue to pressure the Ministry to abide by its obligations as set out in the Award.