In December 2014, Offender Services and Programs (OS&P) Staff at Cessnock and Kempsey Correctional Centres were directed to be on duty between 8.00am and 4.00pm and not outside these hours without prior individual approval from their managers.
In February 2015, OS&P staff at the Lithgow Correctional Centre were directed not to work outside the restricted bandwidth of 7.30am and 4.45pm.
All of these changes were made without consultation with the PSA and were to take effect immediately.
The changes are contrary to your Flexible Working Hours Agreement and the PSA regards the move as an attack on your working conditions. They are heavy handed, unnecessary and an affront to the dignity and professionalism of our members.
Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) has cited ‘operational needs’ to justify the changes without providing any details. Neither has CSNSW presented any evidence to show that an adequate level of service was not being provided by OS&P staff at these locations, or that there was any other problem with the operation of the Flexible Working Hours Agreement.
The PSA has attempted to negotiate a resolution with CSNSW without success, and so has filed a dispute with the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). This was listed for conference at Newcastle on Friday 6 March 2015.
The IRC proceedings are ongoing, but on Friday, the Commissioner recommended that CSNSW meet with the PSA by 20 March 2015 to discuss the matter, and in particular for CSNSW to provide the PSA with the necessary data and evidence to justify the changes at Cessnock, Kempsey and Lithgow.
The PSA welcomes this recommendation.
What can you do?
The PSA attended a members’ meeting at Cessnock on Friday, and is meeting members at Kempsey on Wednesday to discuss this and other issues of concern.
Keep your delegates up to date with any issues of concern.