MEMBER UPDATE 2 JULY 2020
Members would be aware of the NSW Deputy Premier’s announcement of a relocation of DRNSW jobs to regional hubs including Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Armidale and Queanbeyan. Just prior to the announcement, the PSA and other unions were briefed on the Government decision and sought information on several matters of concern.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
The Deputy Premier has announced the creation of jobs in regional locations of Queanbeyan, Armidale, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour. Some of the approximately 800 staff based in Sydney will be asked whether they wish to relocate their role to one of the newly identified regional hubs.
The scope of the relocation project is to start now and continue through to 2022. These roles are primarily office based with the Deputy Premier hinting at an initial focus on the two locations of Armidale and Queanbeyan.
At this point in time, DRNSW are asking for volunteers to move and there is no direction for staff to relocate.
Note: These specific relocations do not include staff that already are located in regional areas of NSW. Any staff seeking transfer to locations identified will require to apply and be successful for advertised roles. Re-assignments to locations at grade may be considered however the expectation is that roles transferring from Sydney will be the priority.
WHAT IS YET TO BE EXPLAINED
The PSA has compiled several questions to DRNSW as part of the consultative obligations on the Department.
- What is the distinct reasoning and business necessity for the Regional locations that have been chosen?
- The voluntary nature of these initial relocations. If the Transfers Officers Compensation Award (TECA) provisions do not apply, what is the quantum and quality of the compensation offered for relocation?
- What are the intentions for the current and future office locations in regions now that Regional Hubs have been identified?
- How does a disparate work function potentially located in a number of different geographical areas operate?
- If some people move and not others, what are the chances that functions will eventually transfer to regional locations simply under the weight of numbers?
- Are these voluntary transfers offered to temporary staff as well as on-going staff?
REGIONAL JOBS ARE GOOD BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS
The PSA General Secretary Stewart Little has cautiously welcomed the announcement for the creation of new roles but is concerned of the zero sum applications. “The PSA will always support Government efforts to boost regions and regional jobs but not at the expense of those roles in other less politically convenient areas. 4 regional hubs created in 4 National Party held seats, what are the odds?
Not a member? With relocations an ‘realignment’ being announced, there’s never been a better time to join at https://www.psa.asn.au/join