Today an emergency meeting was held with Corrective Services NSW management and PSA representatives from across the agency with respect to the impact of COVID-19 on your working environment.
Whilst the meeting was primarily in respect to and concentrated on the custodial setting, where an agreement has been made to suspend personal visits and replace them with other measures, there was some discussion about Community Corrections as well.
CSNSW has indicated it is considering a range of technological measures and flexible arrangements for your work. These will be advanced in the coming days.
It is also establishing a ‘command centre’ to monitor and track work-related transmissions of the disease.
Another meeting between CSNSW and the PSA will be held tomorrow, and should further information come to hand, it will be reported to you.
Whilst the PSA is concerned with the potential exposure to this virus at work of any of our membership, we also recognise the elevated risk that working with socio-economically marginalised communities such as former inmates carries.
To this end there are a number of things you can do at your workplace:
- Practise good hand-washing hygiene at regular intervals during the day. Hand sanitiser is a secondary and less effective option but may be useful for out of office visits.
- Encourage colleagues who are displaying any sign of illness to stay at home. Where they refuse, speak with your manager about directing them to do so.
- Monitor the cleaning regime in your office to ensure that not only the usual items are completed but that surfaces including door handles and counters are regularly disinfected.
- Limit your time in contact with clients and colleagues where recommended social distancing is not being maintained.
As ever, but particularly at these times, the PSA is here to support you when you have WHS issues. We can be contacted through the MSC on 1300 772 679 where you have concerns related to the any of the matters outlined above or through the delegates listed below.
The PSA has already negotiated with Premier’s Department what additional leave arrangements will be in place in the event of a partial or total shutdown of the public sector. Please see this bulletin with a link to the relevant circular HERE.