The Public Service Association met with the Environment Protection Authority CEO Tony Chappell and other members of senior management on Friday 18 November
The CEO listened intently to the concerns of PSA member delegates about staffing and resourcing levels, work allocation models and reports that staff were being approached about individual responses to the People Matter Employee Survey.
The PSA is encouraged by the CEO’s candid acknowledgment of the issues raised, noting poor change management processes, and expressing serious concern that staff are made to feel persecuted for the PMES responses and they were addressed individually by senior management regarding comments in the PMES. This behaviour from senior management was unacceptable as it would discourage members to engage in any future PMES.
An EPA members Microsoft Tams meeting will be held Thursday, 1 of December at 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM to provide feedback from the meeting with the CEO.
Direction to take Leave
The PSA has been advised, members with excess leave have been directed to take their rec leave and forfeit their Flex leave. If you have been directed to forfeit your Flex leave, please contact the PSA ASAP. If you have excess leave, the normal procedure would be to put in a leave plan, that would be the reasonable solution.
Christmas – New Year Closedown Period
The NSW Government closedown period for 2022-23 is Monday, 26 December 2022 – Friday, 6 January 2023
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’s your choice whether you work or not.
If your office is going to be shut, a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you. If practicable, this could include working from home for some or all of that time. You may have to work at a different location, but you cannot be expected to travel unreasonable distances and you may be entitled to be reimbursed for the additional cost of your travel.
Can I be directed to take Recreation Leave due to the closedown?
You can be told to take Recreation Leave only if you have an ‘excess’ balance as defined by clause 77.2 of the Crown Employees (Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009.
This is usually defined as more than six weeks’ accumulated leave, in which case you can be directed to reduce your balance over a period of three months by mutual agreement; or over eight weeks’ leave, in which case you can be directed to take leave. You cannot be forced to forfeit your FLEX leave.
The PSA encourages members to be aware of their leave balances, and to regularly take Recreation Leave for their own health and welfare. Christmas and the New Year are a great time to do so.