Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open Plan Office Proposal - Public Service Association

Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open Plan Office Proposal

Crown Solicitor’s Office – Open Plan Office Proposal – October 2017 (PDF version)

PSA correspondence with CSO management

The PSA wrote to CSO management on 21 September 2017 raising members’ concerns that, despite the CSO’s 13 September 2017 agreement that the ‘Accommodation Project’ would be halted pending genuine consultation with the PSA (apart from on agreed matters including the tendering for an architect and obtaining of feedback from staff on concept plans), staff have been recently informed by the Accommodation Project Staff that:

“the decision to move to open plan had been made and could not be changed. Further, Government policy required open plan to be implemented and there was no room for negotiation on this point”.

The PSA letter sought that, apart from the tender process for an architect, all matters previously agreed to proceed be halted pending the office’s Workplace Modernisation Change Management Strategy being finalised and released to staff. It also requested the following documentation be provided to the PSA:

  • The fit out submission sent to Property NSW and Property NSW response
  • The scope document for the tender to engage an architect that has been sent or is to be sent; and
  • The briefing sent to ARTAS Architects, who prepared the original concept plans for the Accommodation Project Steering Committee that staff members were supplied with on
    31 August and 1 September 2017.

PSA meeting with CSO management on 22 September 2017

Your PSA representatives and delegates met with CSO management on Friday 22 September 2017. While CSO management provided undertakings that no final decisions as to the layout of any renovations would be made without ‘considerable’ consultation taking place with the PSA and staff, the position of the CSO was that the Property NSW fit-out policy requires open plan office arrangements to be implemented. CSO committed to providing the finalised Change Management Strategy to the PSA.

In the course of discussions it was confirmed by CSO management that, in submitting a ‘business plan’ to the Secretaries of Justice, Finance and Property NSW for approval for the Crown Solicitor’s Office to remain in the Sydney CBD in January of 2017, no consideration was given to putting up a case that the ‘specific operational requirements’ of the CSO (see “NSW Government Fitout Design Principles HERE (Office Workplace Accommodation)” ) supported enclosed offices being maintained, the primary focus (which the PSA acknowledged was legitimate) being to allow the CSO to remain in the Sydney CBD for operational reasons.

During the meeting CSO management was provided with a PSA CSO members’ paper outlining the issues of concern to staff regarding the open plan proposal, focussing in particular on the lack of consultation that has taken place and the potential adverse impact on the business of the CSO and staff welfare.

An enormous thank you to the CSO PSA members who volunteered their time to put this document together.

Your PSA delegates:

Your PSA Staff:

Increase the negotiating power of the PSA at the CSO by encouraging your colleagues to join the PSA online at, or see your delegates for Membership Forms.

Stronger, Together – A unionised workplace is a fairer one!

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