The PSA was recently informed that the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO) intends to pause the Accommodation Arrangements Project. Following this, your PSA Delegates and Industrial Staff met recently with management for the CSO Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). Below is an update on the Accommodation Arrangements Project and the matters were discussed on behalf of PSA members:
PSA success in pausing the Accommodation Arrangements Project
From April to May 2023, the CSO consulted with staff and the PSA on its proposal to lose a floor of the office, which would result in there being an insufficient number of desks for all staff. The proposal outlined an implementation plan for a shared desk/hot desking system within the office.
In response to feedback received from Members, the PSA raised numerous concerns about the project, including, in particular, the concern that the project had not been fully thought through and that the CSO had failed to comply with its obligations to consult with workers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2013. The PSA’s submitted written member feedback by way of letter found HERE. We encourage members to review this letter and thank those who provided feedback.
The CSO has reported that more than 125 responses were received from staff via the online feedback form during the consultation period. The PSA understands many of these responses raised similar concerns to those expressed in the PSA’s feedback.
Management has reported that, after considering the feedback provided by the PSA and staff, the CSO Executive Leadership Group has decided no changes would be made to the current office arrangements at this stage. Members should feel empowered that their concerns have been listened to!
Unfortunately, however, the CSO’s response indicates it may go ahead with the project (or a similarly framed project) sometime in the future. Management has stated the CSO will now focus on workplace initiatives aimed at gathering further information regarding in-office activities, growth estimates and to respond to matters raised through the consultation process. The Crown Solicitor wrote to the PSA on 1 June 2023 confirming the decision HERE.
The PSA and your delegates are meeting with the CSO in the next week to discuss further developments on this proposal. The PSA and your delegates will report back to members with further information.
PaTH Project (myWorkZone)
Management advised that the CSO intranet has been updated with myWorkZone implementation information and that all staff emails will provide information about training, resources and actions required by staff to support the transition from JSAP to myWorkZone. This is due to be implemented on 3 July 2023.
Flexible Working Hours Agreement
Management acknowledged the Flexible Working Hours Agreement is outdated and confirmed that People & Culture may have capacity around September 2023 to commence steps to negotiate a new Flexible Working Hours Agreement with the PSA subject to the Crown Solicitor’s approval.
The PSA will follow up with management for negotiations to commence for a new Flexible Working Hours Agreement as soon as possible.
Work Health and Safety
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
Management reported that three staff members have expressed interest in being HSR representatives for the CSO. The nominees will have to complete HSR training following which their appointments will be formally announced by People & Culture.
Any member is welcome to express interest in being a HSR, which is an important role within the workplace. Being an HSR is an opportunity for members to gain new knowledge, experience and training on workplace health and safety matters. If any member wants further information about being an HSR, including what is involved please contact your delegates or PSA representatives.
Wellbeing working group
The second meeting was held recently, and Terms of Reference will be finalised at the next meeting.
One of the actions under the Wellbeing action plan was to deliver the Proactive Wellbeing Supervision Program. CSO high-risk teams were invited to participate in the program.
All WHS policies are currently under review by People & Culture.
PSA delegates sought clarification on Graduates and the option to undertake temporary assignments (TAs) into higher graded roles. Management confirmed that Graduates are able to accept a temporary or permanent employment offer for a higher role, however if they do this, they will have to resign from their role in the Graduate Development Program. Management advised that this practice is consistent with the NSW Government Graduate Program lead by the NSW Public Service Commission. Management confirmed that Graduates cannot be temporarily assigned to a higher graded role.
PSA industrial staff