Better Regulation Division Joint Consultative Committee - Public Service Association

Better Regulation Division Joint Consultative Committee

Your union met recently with the Department of Customer Service (DCS) for the Better Regulation (BRD) Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The following matters were discussed:

Building Inspector dispute update

Further details on the PSA dispute regarding the review and changes for Building Inspectors in respect of the issuing of rectification notices, are outlined  HERE. Construction Building and Property has advised of a three-month trial period, a survey for all staff seeking feedback, and ongoing consultation to occur during the trial. The PSA thanks our members and Delegates for informing the PSA of these changes.

BRD Aboriginal Network

The PSA welcomes the creation of the Better Regulation Division Aboriginal Network. The first session is due to commence in December and we hope First Nations PSA Members working in the Department of Customer Service will engage with and inform this network to improve the outcomes of those working in the NSW Public Service. If you would like to discuss participation in this network with the PSA Aboriginal Liaison Officer, please contact the Member Support Centre by calling 1300 772 679.

Training program for entry-level Inspectors

The Safework Vocational Group (VG) expressed concern with the proposed change to the training duration of entry-level Inspectors from six to three months. The concern was that entry-level Inspectors will be sent into the field too early and without the proper support. DCS advised that the streamlining of the program would not leave Inspectors exposed to insufficient training before undertaking duties and that a mentoring program could provide further support to trainees during this process. Delegates expressed concern around workload in relation to providing mentoring.  The mentoring program is in development and the PSA will consult with management in relation to this.

Inspector vehicle review

DCS confirmed it is currently conducting a review into private usage vehicles. The purpose of this review is to realise the Premier’s vision of a greener public service fleet.  PSA expects that the department will consult on the result of the review and DCS will be providing information both staff and the PSA during this process.

Mutual Sick Leave fund

PSA have requested an audit into the Inspectors’ Mutual Sick Leave fund.  We have concerns as to why the fund moved into a negative balance.  Privacy concerns in relation to people’s sick leave were cited, but PSA does not believe this is an issue. We are not asking for individuals’ details, just confirmation of amounts credited and debited, timeframes and whether anyone other than Inspectors has utilised it. The need to review governance and usage was acknowledged. We will continue to update members and advocate for best practice on this issue.

SafeWork Inspectors ASI/ SI relieving

SafeWork VG members asked why Talent Pools weren’t being accessed for roles where active Talent Pools are available. DCS advised that depending on the length and circumstances of the vacancy it is not always practical to fill vacancies this way. The Government Sector Employment Act 2013 gives your employer the discretion to choose how vacancies are filled and there is no obligation to use a Talent Pool where one is available.  The PSA will continue to monitor how vacancies are filled to ensure opportunities for development are fair.

Inspector Progression

Regarding the changes made to the progression policy in 2019, the Safework VG have expressed concern at the opportunities provided to external versus internal applicants in applying for Senior Inspector roles. In seeking further information on the appeals panel for the application process, DCS advised that positions on the panel are rotated with an Executive Director only becoming involved where an appeal has been requested by the applicant. There will be further meetings to discuss this and the PSA will continue to seek your feedback and consult with DCS.

Communication to Inspectors

Due to concerns that important communications were being missed by Inspectors, the Safework VG provided a list of examples where information relevant to the role had not been included on the SharePoint. DCS is reviewing the examples with all parties to monitor the use of the recently created newsletter to address this gap.


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