On Monday 5 August, your union met with a number of impacted members in relation to the Brand, Digital and Communications realignment, which in our view is looking like something more substantial than merely a change in reporting lines.
Concerns were raised by members that this is looking more like a hostile takeover and less like a merger. It is our understanding that Service NSW has come across with everyone intact, in place and directly translated while Corporate Services staff are being informed by Directors and/or managers they may have never met that they’ve been appointed to a role. Somewhere. Performing duties that may or may not fit their skill set.
While we acknowledge the Department has the ability to move employees to positions at grade, we question (as do our members) how people who have never met them, let alone worked with them, can possibly decide where to place them in a structure. Hardly a recipe for a successful outcome. Examples of the kinds of outcomes of this process experienced by members include being offered positions that have essential criteria (such as qualifications) that they don’t possess and without which they cannot perform the roles.
We are disappointed that a number of positions not identified as being available to staff have recently been advertised externally. We consider this to be poor treatment of current staff, particularly those who were concerned that where they had been placed didn’t match their skill sets and that these previously unavailable positions potentially do. We have advised management of the positions we have become aware of that are being advertised externally, at a potential disadvantage to our members and their employees.
We are further concerned that staff have received no role descriptions but have been told that they should move into their new structure on 5 August, with or without new managers in place, and no understanding of what to do with current responsibilities or what is now expected of them in their new roles.
Some people have indeed moved into new roles. Others have been told that the move has been delayed to a date yet to be announced. We note that a number of members have attended handover meetings to be met with a lukewarm reception and then advised that they are not handing over at this point in time. Chaos and confusion abounds and leads us to suggest that attempts to just place people to avoid causing them distress have merely resulted in greater levels of distress.
We would like to think that the department is not setting up our members to fail and have suggested that accessing LinkedIn profiles is not the only recruitment tool available, even when the turnaround timeframe is short.
The PSA, after caucusing with concerned members in the area, met with management to begin the informal dispute process in relation to lack of consultation both with you, and with your union.
We followed this up by writing to management seeking the following outcomes on behalf of our members:
- Evaluated role descriptions
- Ability to put in an EOI for positions prior to them being advertised externally (with positions currently being advertised externally being pulled from recruitment while this happens)
- Opportunity to act in higher roles (rather than having them filled through external recruitment) pending the significant number of RMPs coming up in the Department in the foreseeable future.
The PSA seeks a commitment to provide genuine consultation and a willingness from the Department to address concerns and outcomes raised by employees and members in a timely manner.
As a result of our meeting on 5 August and our subsequent correspondence, we expect a response to our communication at the Realignment Consultative Committee (RJCC) meeting on Thursday 8 August 2019. Further, a consultation meeting with your union specifically for this realignment is scheduled to take place following the RJCC. We will advise you of outcomes after these meetings.