Your union and Delegates recently attended the Joint Consultative Committee to discuss member concerns with the Secretary. The following matters were discussed.
Recruitment is currently occurring across the cluster to improve workload and customer delivery. Secretary Emma Hogan advised the People Matter Survey and recent Town Hall discussions had highlighted Recruitment as a focus area. The Department acknowledged there is more to do in creating a cultural shift to address concerns around recruitment processes to ensure a clear and fairer process for staff, Managers and Hiring Managers. If you have concerns about recruitment practices, please contact your workplace delegates.
The Department also repeated a commitment not to mandate a set number of days for returning to the office and to approach requests for flexibility on an “if not, why not” basis. Please reach out to your Manager to discuss your circumstances on returning to the office where required. If you would like advice on how to approach this conversation please contact the Member Support Centre.
A review of the Flexible Working Agreement has been on the to do list for some time. The Department has indicated it will be writing to the PSA about seeking to make changes to the agreement. We discussed concerns that working from home during COVID has actually made work practices less flexible and we are seeking an education piece for local managers on how flexible working practices should be interpreted. Once we have the Department’s letter we will be seeking input and feedback from members.
Delegates across the cluster have raised concerns that deleting General Scale, 1/2 and 3/4 roles from all areas of the Department of Customer Service (DCS) in realignments and restructures has already, and will continue to, limit employment opportunities for many different people, including those working or seeking employment with a disability. Limiting lower-graded roles also limits opportunity for parents returning to work, school leavers and those in regional areas who already have limited access to further training.
Last year DCS released its Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2020-2025 setting goals and timeframes for an inclusive cluster for both employees and customers, including an annual 0.5 per cent increase of people with a disability throughout the cluster at various levels. Since that time further low graded roles have been deleted as part of restructures. Currently five per cent of employees in the cluster identify as having a disability, while 18 per cent of the Australian population lives with a disability. When raising your concerns, the Department repeated its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace.
The PSA believes the NSW Government should be leading in creating opportunities for vulnerable members of the community. The PSA looks forward to further detail on how this plan will become a reality.
The PSA would like to thank the members of DCS for their resilience and engagement through a number of realignments and restructures occurring in your areas while you continue to support the state in finding the ‘new normal’ in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you have concerns which you believe should be raised at future JCCs please contact your workplace delegates.
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