TfNSW – Evolving Transport – Future Workplaces Consultation

Future Workplaces - Dec 2019 (PDF version)

The PSA and combined unions met with Transport for NSW representatives from the Future Workplaces Project Office and was briefed on the proposed workplace location changes on 20 and 29 November 2019.

These changes have been flagged previously by the PSA in our bulletins to members however the interactions of Evolving Transport and the dissolution of the RMS are now including worksites that were previously not incorporated.

By the time that members read this, briefings for all Divisions should have already occurred. On-line questions have reached over 300 and TfNSW is busy preparing responses to individuals and FAQs.

It is understandable that without all of the information on the definitive divisions that are being mapped by ‘Evolving Transport’, staff have a number of questions at this point which TfNSW will not be in a position to answer. This is a work in progress and the PSA and combined unions have pushed TfNSW to provide information as soon as possible. This means that not all the information is available right now.

What’s important?

  1. The Lead-in Time TfNSW had flagged Future Workplaces with the PSA and combined unions before the announcements of the dissolution of the RMS. The involvement of the RMS adds another complexity. TfNSW acknowledge that this is a huge transition and have allocated considerable resources to the moves. The PSA and combined unions were adamant that if TfNSW couldn’t provide staff with six months’ notice, then compensation should be considered. The timetable is for May to August 2020.
  2. Confirmation on Locations Some transfers will be of little consequence for staff – others could provide significant levels of disadvantage. TfNSW have flagged movements of staff to these hub locations in accordance with the decisions made from Property NSW. TfNSW and the PSA understands that there are intricacies with some of the flagged locations i.e. Rozelle, Macquarie Park and Mascot.
  3. The Discussions with Affected Staff TfNSW has committed to the PSA and combined unions that conversations about those members who are potentially negatively affected should begin in earnest.
  4. The Flexibility to assist Affected Staff Members shouldn’t wait until the move is upon them before having detailed discussions with their managers. They should be thinking about their personal circumstances; the ability to adapt those circumstances; developing options for flexibility and; planning for those changes to happen. Find out about the locations through Pop-Up stands and information sessions in your current locations.

I am flagged to move? It will add to my daily travel; do I get compensated?

When staff members are permanently transferred to another headquarters, ordinarily if the transfer is within the confines of the Sydney metropolitan area (encompassed by Gosford, Mt Victoria and Wollongong) compensation for extra travel costs isn’t available.

What happens if I don’t want to move? Are there voluntary redundancies?

The transfer of staff to another location is a reasonable and legal direction made by TfNSW. The PSA and combined unions do not envisage any offers of Voluntary Redundancy for the proposed transfer of TfNSW or RMS Group staff to new Headquarters that are contained in the Sydney Metropolitan area.

How does ABW and alternative location working operate in the new environments?

With a dedicated Divisional ‘Headquarters’ there is an expectation that staff would be notionally placed at those locations.

TfNSW have drafted a Working Flexibly Procedure (not to be mistaken for the Flexible Working Hours Agreement) that the PSA and combined unions are yet to consult on. The PSA has an expectation that options like those containing flexible working are explored. TfNSW isn’t an island unto themselves. Due to Machinery of Government changes across the public service, there are a number of agencies that are relocating.

The new flex agreement – will this move affect its operation?

The flexibility provisions surrounding the move and the flexible working hours agreement are different processes with a common thread. The FWHA relates to the working of hours and provision of work whereas the flexibility provisions determine when and where the work is done. The FWHA can most certainly be used to provide an augmentation of hours for staff members to provide for levels of flexibility.

Where do I take my concerns?

Firstly, to your manager. The expectation is that there will be some level of discussion and an exploration of the issues. If those concerns are not allayed, then progression to a more senior manager is appropriate. It might be that the flexibility provision requires the sign off from someone higher, it could be that there can be more and better flexibility provided to those negatively affected by the move. TfNSW is working on a Program to assist managers to understand the options available for affected staff.

The PSA is also happy to provide assistance to members through this process if those discussions do not bear fruit with agreements or at least options.

I’m in I&P and there are no proposed locations set down for my project. How do I consult on the location change?

Good question – no answer yet. There are a number of notional locations for I&P Project based staff – most make sense, for others it is a little too early to determine. Consultation may need to be extended for those groups with no answer on locations just yet.

What about regional locations?

There are currently no regional locations that are earmarked for transfer at this point in time. Newcastle offices have been flagged to move at some point in late 2020 early 2021.

What else?

Some staff members may simply choose to resign their employ with TfNSW rather than submit to a direction to transfer. How many people that feel this way is unknown, however, provision must be made for these resignations in order that service delivery in not affected or workload pressures on other staff are not realised. The PSA advises those members thinking of resigning to first speak to their managers to determine whether there is something that can be done. Flexibility procedures are consulted and devised by the PSA and combined unions with TfNSW in an attempt to mitigate these factors.

Some lease end activities are still continuing with workplaces services. However, this will not change the May to August dates for transfer.

The PSA advocates on behalf of our members when relocation issues arise. In the majority of cases, this involves looking at the individual circumstances, and advocating for that individual’s needs.

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