Are you working in science? Let us know - Public Service Association

Are you working in science? Let us know

Did you know the PSA, your union, has an elected SAO Science Advisory Group.

The group meets quarterly to discuss matters affecting School Administrative Officers working in science. The advisory group works with PSA staff to raise issues for discussion with the Department of Education (DoE).

So the PSA can communicate effectively with you about the issues facing members working in science, we need to know who you are. Please update your classification through the PSA Website HERE.

Even if you only work one day in the science labs, please update your details with us.  If you are not a member of the PSA, please join. A stronger united voice is a stronger and safer vocation.

Training: Did you know?

Under your SAS Staff Award (Clause 12) all mandatory training and development should be completed in your contracted hours and if not, then you need to be remunerated for the extra time.

Training has been a key focus of the group and the PSA, as well as raising awareness of your pay, considering you are working with hazardous chemicals, materials and specialised equipment.

The PSA SAO Science Advisory Group has been continually advocating for members through the Department with various meetings, such as the PSA’s consultation with the WH&S team for face-to-face training to return and the training associated with the updated Chemical Safety in Schools. CSIS Mandatory Training below:

Chemical Safety in Schools (CSIS)

Mandatory training is dependent on the role and contact with chemicals, it is required for employees who:

  • Use, handle, generate or store hazardous chemicals.
  • Operate test, maintain, repair or decommission a storage or handling system for a hazardous chemical, and/or
  • Are likely to be exposed to a hazardous chemical.

Required: on commencement. Timing: as required

Enrolment and delivery: Self-paced or face-to-face options are available via the Chemical Safety in Schools Package website.

Incident reporting: Did you know?

An incident is an event that creates danger or risk that could significantly affect the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals of a physical or psychological nature, including near misses. They may include, but are not limited to: spitting, hitting, kicking, physical incidents from working in the school grounds, undertaking general maintenance and working with students as well as the significant psychological pressure placed on administrative staff due to workloads and work intensification.

In the event of an incident occurring, the safety and wellbeing of staff, students and others is the first priority.

Incident notification enables the Department to act to provide early intervention, management and support where required and take corrective action to prevent further incident or injury. The Department requires that employees report as soon as possible.

Incident Report & Support Hotline 1300 811 523 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. This is not your internal reporting. This is the Department’s WH&S Directorate.

Mould: Did you know?

Members have reported that instances of mould have increased over the past 12 months.

Mould can cause allergic reactions, asthma, pneumonitis, infections of the upper airway, sinusitis, or other lung infections. If a worker has a weakened immune system or other existing condition, the health effects can be severe.

Workers should be vigilant in identifying and monitoring any changes in their health.

If mould is evident in a classroom or workspace the worker should:

  • Report the mould through WH&S Hotline
  • Lodge an incident report if experiencing any health impacts AND visit their GP as soon as possible
  • Email the Principal and internal Health & Safety committee (HSC) to notify of the mould and request cleaning
  • Request an assessment of the cause and rectification required to make the area safe and prevent recurrence.

The Principal (or their representative) should arrange appropriate cleaning and contact Asset Management requesting an assessment of cause and rectification required. This information should be provided to the workers as soon as possible.

If there is significant mould in an area, and/or a worker is experiencing any negative health effects from the mould, the worker should be relocated until the appropriate cleaning and rectification work has been done. Experts recommend that if the mould covers one square metre or more, it should be professionally cleaned by mould-removal experts. There are several companies that do this work.

If you are a member of the PSA and have any topics or concerns that you would like discussed at the next SAO Science Advisory Group meeting, please contact the Delegate in your area. If you would like to update your details or require individual assistance, please contact the PSA Member Support Centre on 1800 772 679.

Not a member?

You can join the PSA HERE.

Your SAO Science Delegates

Goran Terzic Vice Secretary
Bankstown Snr College
Sydney Metro – South West

Rachel Troth Vice Chair
Chifley College, Bidwill
Sydney Metro – West

Sharon Francis
Blaxland High School
Sydney Metro – Nepean Blue Mountains

Maree Hampstead
Shoalhaven High School
Regional – Wollongong/South East

Alison James
Georges River College
Metro – South East

Robert Holmes
Doonside Tech High School
Metro – West

Helen Hill
Kadina High School
Regional Northern Rivers

Do you want to be more involved in your union?

Contact either your Delegate in the area above or contact Susan Chee Quee, PSA Schools Organiser at for more information about being a Delegate.




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