BIG WINS IN THE COMMISSION, WBS IO BAN NOW LIFTED
On 8 May 2019 the PSA attended an urgent hearing at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), the tribunal that hears matters relating to the workplace. The Department of Education notified a dispute and sought an order for the lifting of the bans on the WBS IO.
This gave the PSA the opportunity to advise the IRC about the WBS IO and that it has meant yet another increase in workload for administrative staff.
Your union placed on record the 700+ comments we received in our survey which demonstrated the depth of the frustration, anxiety and stress brought on by the implementation of the WBS IO solution.
The PSA repeatedly raised the concerns of members including the impacts on SAS Staff of the WBS IO such as work overload. The Commissioner acknowledged our concerns and encouraged the Department of Education to find a way to address them in order for the dispute to be resolved. Discussions in the Commission went for several hours, covering many of the issues raised by members.
Following extensive deliberations with your delegates on what they saw as a resolution to this dispute, the PSA then received correspondence from the Department putting forward a way to resolve the remaining issues.
As a result of your action the Department has now:
- Sent communication to principals thanking school staff, especially school administrative and support staff, for their work and acknowledging that this has been a difficult time.
- Committed to conducting a detailed analysis of the PSA survey, including comments, to identify issues with the WBS IO and determine what ongoing improvements are required.
- Agreeing to return to constructive discussions with the PSA to respond to the “pain points” identified by the Association.
- Allocating additional funding to schools for increased hours and overtime of 1.67 million dollars to be used during the transition period to assist with the specific administrative support needs.
- Agreed to provide additional support, including 1:1 to schools identified throughout the transition.
The PSA put additional items to the Department which your delegates had identified including:
- Consultation on the Cost Allocation Guiding Principles document (DoE agreed)
- A timetable of meetings to identify specific system pressures and what improvements could be made (DoE agreed)
The union also requested that PSA representatives be invited to the Finance User Group so that end users in schools of finance programs are able to provide practical input into any further initiatives prior to roll out.
In light of the above, the Commissioner strongly recommended that the ban be lifted and advised that the Commission:
“Direct[s] the PSA to inform its members of the recommendation through such means as appropriate such as through email and its website”
As a result, the PSA is advising all members that the ban on the WBS IO solution has been lifted and work as normal is to continue.
PSA members’ action has delivered these outcomes.
Without the action of members, it would not have been possible for your delegates and PSA industrial staff to be able to win the outcomes listed here. We thank all members for your strength and unity in upholding this direction.
Your Health and Safety Comes First!
The PSA advises all members that, while the ban has been lifted, you must not put yourself at risk due to work overload. Members are reminded that you must not:
- Work additional unpaid hours
- Work unpaid overtime
The Department cannot rely on your good will to absorb the ever increasing workloads in schools. Your health and safety comes first and we advise you not to work unreasonable hours to complete work, especially that which is regular and ongoing.
Members are advised to contact the PSA if you are expected/required to work unpaid additional hours and log every incident of work overload with the Department. You can read the PSA’s previous bulletin on this HERE.