On Monday 20 February 2023, the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission on New South Wales (IRC) based on communication provided to the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) People and Culture staff (P&C) on Wednesday 15 February 2023 from Acting Executive Director, People and Culture.
P&C staff were directed to return to their office at either Parramatta, Newcastle or Orange from 1 March 2023.
This direction to our members was without any consultation with the PSA. In fact, during a DPE Joint Consultative Committee meeting held on 17 December 2022, the DPE Secretary was asked, ‘was any consideration being given to directing DPE staff to return to the office?’ At that stage, there no consideration to direct staff back to the office.
On 18 March 2020, the PSA and DPE negotiated the suspension of the bandwidth and core hours allowing staff more flexibility while working from home. The Acting Executive Director makes no mention of these arrangements, but instead only refers to newly launched flexible working arrangements of which the PSA has no knowledge.
This decision will severely disadvantage some staff, both financially and emotionally. However, DPE senior management have given no consideration for the wellbeing of their staff.
The PSA is extremely critical of DPE’s senior management imposing this direction without any consultation or discussion with either staff or the PSA prior to this communication going out.
The PSA has had a long-standing good working relationship with senior DPE management, based on trust and engagement. However, the current management feel they do not have to engage with the PSA when making critical decisions that affect our membership.
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