A number of members have recently contacted the PSA with concerns that their claims for the Environmental Allowance (EA) had not been progressed by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW), despite meeting all the requirements. The PSA has been successful in gaining the EA, including back pay, in a number of these cases.
Could you be eligible?
In 2019, CSNSW undertook a review of positions entitled to and receiving the EA. Following discussions with the PSA, it determined to apply a standard approach according to set criteria. This was driven by years of members’ concerns to the PSA about the fairness and equity with which the Allowance was being applied.
The criteria for entitlement to the EA are as follows:
- The role must be performed within a gazetted Correctional Centre; AND
- The role must involve substantial, regular and direct contact with inmates (and the contact is for professional purposes).
If you meet both these criteria and are not being paid the EA, you may have an entitlement to the allowance, including back pay. In the first instance, you need to put in an internal submission, via your manager, that you meet the above criteria.
Unsuccessful or still waiting for a response? The PSA can assist you!
Whilst the PSA does not believe there is currently any widespread underpayment of the EA, it is important that members are informed about what the entitlement is based on and how to make a claim. The PSA will assist and advocate for individual members whose claims have been incorrectly rejected or have simply not been responded to in a timely fashion.
How can I get support?
It is important that members who believe they have a good case for entitlement to the EA make the application internally. The PSA cannot advocate for you unless you have submitted an application and it has been rejected or not responded to.
If you believe you meet the above criteria and have not been successful in getting approval for the EA, please collate the relevant documentation and contact the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.
What about my colleagues?
If they are union members, the PSA can assist them and you should encourage them to follow the above advice. If they are not PSA members, talk to them today about how to JOIN THE PSA TODAY!