Call for Expressions of Interest – PSA Surveillance Officer Advisory Group 2019 -2020
The Chief Industrial Magistrate’s decision to dismiss the PSA claim was a difficult pill to swallow. Advice from our instructing barrister was not certain that an appeal of the decision would provide the outcomes sought by the PSA at a huge financial risk.
Whilst the RMS Award provided a good grounding for our interpretation, case law and the continuing contracts of employment were not. However, Surveillance Officers should be assured that the risk of paying costs does not diminish the PSA’s determination to seek just outcomes for our members when the need arises.
As a consequence of allowing the protracted legal case to unfold, there are a number of industrial matters that have been put in abeyance for fear of polluting or discriminating those previous claims. The dissolution of the RMS and the incorporation of those functions into Transport for NSW only serves now to provide yet another level of complexity.
There are now several large outstanding industrial issues that will require negotiation and the assistance of the Surveillance Officer membership to progress.
The composition of the Surveillance Officer Advisory Group
The PSA has been reluctant to propose an establishment like previous other Advisory Groups because of the diverse nature of the Surveillance Officer workforce. This is because of the:
- different gradings of staff between USS5-USS8;
- issue of grandfathered roles and grades;
- difficulty in understanding the complexity of the role when assessing Role Descriptions;
- differences in build/maintenance functions;
- differences in work from Regional areas and;
- siloed way that Surveillance Officers work that potentially reduce the capacity for career development.
The means that the PSA requires members that not only represent the differing grades of Surveillance Officers but locations and work types. Put simply one size don’t fit all.
As a consequence, the PSA is calling for Expressions of Interest for members to become part of the Surveillance Officer Advisory Group. It will be made up of four members over the next two years and is tasked with assisting the PSA Industrial representatives in:
1. the negotiation of a robust and lasting hours of work clause;
2. meeting with representatives from the RMS and TfNSW to discuss the current industrial issues;
3. the development of a Competency Framework for Surveillance Officers that provides clear understanding of:
a) what work is done by what grade.
b) how Surveillance Officers progress through those grades.
c) what professional development is required.
d) how Surveillance Officers can obtain career progression and development.
e) the value for money that Surveillance Officers provide to the RMS and TfNSW.
4. night working and the differences in interpretation on how/when this is inputted into EQUIP and how it is paid;
5. understanding of how the operation of 35 and 38 hour weeks will continue;
6. understanding how RMS Surveillance Officers will eventually transition into TfNSW and;
7. distributing material to members in the progression of these matters.
How does this Advisory Group work?
Delegates to the Advisory Group are covered under the conditions of Clause 8 of the Roads & Maritime Services Consolidated Salaried Award 2017. Whilst much of the work required can be done through teleconference, there maybe requirement to meet with RMS management or onsite at PSA House in Sydney, usually once a quarter.
Meetings with management
Members might recall, the PSA sought the development of a Competency Framework clause as part of our claim for the RMS Award. Whilst the PSA hasn’t backed away from this stance, there is recognition from both the PSA and the RMS that any such negotiation will take more time than the 30 June deadline to finalise agreement on the Award.
In the meantime, the meetings with RMS management will seek to progress those matters where there is mutual agreement.
The RMS has already proposed that this group expand its remit to involve Works Supervisors as well. This says to the PSA is that there is some appetite from the RMS to address the industrial concerns seriously to the mutual benefit of Surveillance Officers, Works Supervisors and the RMS.
How do I express my interest?
The breakup of electorates would involve two regional and two urban based members. Cut and paste and answer the following questions into an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How Long Have You Been a Surveillance Officer?
- What is your current grade?
- What is your current location?
- What is your current working hours contract i.e. 35 or 38?
- Have you been successful in applying for a higher graded Surveillance Officer position in the past?
In accordance with the PSA Rules and By-Laws if there are more expressions of interest than positions there may be potential for elections to be held. The call for expressions will be open until 11 June 2019.