All branches of the PSA membership met with CSNSW Executive on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 to discuss the upcoming budgetary requirements for the period 2014-15.
In that meeting PSA representatives were advised of the $24 million dollar shortfall in the budget for the financial year. Due to a commitment from the NSW Attorney General, CSNSW brought in all of the branches to explore and discuss strategies to find the savings.
WHAT GROUPS ARE AFFECTED?
All branches of the PSA that work in CSNSW.
WHAT WAS DISCUSSED?
CSNSW has put forward a number of cost savings initiatives including food ordering; improved procurement processes for CSI; implementation of the CSI maintenance model; consolidation of office accommodation in HDB; the re-configuration of Kariong CC; the reconfiguration of the Brush Farm Academy; improved cost recovery of escorting offenders for other jurisdictions; and reviewing the uniform contract. The PSA has identified recycling initiatives in correctional centres.
How some of CSNSW initiatives will result in savings is not clear.
DISUCSSIONS FROM THE PSA PERSPECTIVE
In good faith, the PSA is open to a constructive dialogue with CSNSW around savings measures. However, the PSA has made it abundantly clear to the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Corrective Services that CSNSW is severely under-funded. As a consequence the PSA will not adopt a process whereby savings are found through a reduction in employment entitlements or through job losses.
Importantly, a number of initiatives, over the past several years have resulted in considerable job losses including: Grafton CC; closure of the CCMG; and the closure of Kirkconnell, Parramatta and Cooma CCs.
The PSA has written to the Commissioner of CSNSW and has sought information on the projected cost savings from the initiatives identified by CSNSW.
Furthermore the PSA has sought clarification on the ‘gaol state’ (number of inmates) at the time budgets were finalised. Our obvious concern is the dramatic increase in offenders, who are subject to incarceration or community based orders, are not reflected by this Government funding decisions.