FACS South West District Sydney JCC
The PSA met with Family and Community Services management at the South Western District Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) on 22 September 2016.
The PSA raised the following issues with management:
Workload and Workload Planner
The PSA advised management that it should encourage and support the use of the Workload Planner in the District in a manner that is consistent with the FACS/PSA Joint Communication, using appropriate strategies such as communication and training if necessary. The PSA will continue to insist on management support for the Workload Planner in the District.
Caseload and workload impacts
The PSA advised that the current caseload numbers are too onerous and need to be reviewed, particularly in the OOHC hubs. There was agreement that management meet with members at the Liverpool OOHC hub to discuss and resolve workload issues. The PSA will attend any planned meeting to support members.
The PSA tabled a document at the JCC titled “Individual Communication Plan” dated 2012, which has been provided to the PSA by some members. This document appears to impact upon flexitime entitlements and has not been endorsed by the PSA. Managers at the JCC were not aware of this document’s existence and will be making enquiries.
The PSA advises members not to sign this document, or any other document they are concerned about. The PSA also advises members to contact the Member Support Centre if they have any concerns about documents provided by management.
The PSA again raised consistency across the District in relation to planned and unplanned overtime approvals and payment. The PSA referred to the award provisions and noted that it is staff who decide if they want time in lieu, not management.
Transfer of Work Across Districts
The PSA raised concerns about work being transferred into the SW District, impacting upon staff workload. Management advised that this reallocation was the result of Departmental policies. The PSA noted that our members needed better communication and support when this occurs.
The PSA noted that there had been Department initiated transfers in Housing and this appears to be happening more than in other agencies.
The PSA reminded the Department of it’s obligation to consult under the Government Sector Employment Act when proposing a staff transfer, and to take into account issues such as carers’ responsibilities, health and travel arrangements.
The PSA also advised management that it should access other mechanisms such as compassionate transfer applications before initiating unwanted staff transfers.
The PSA has discussed this issue at the peak consultative level and will continue to press for a fair application of staff transfer procedures.
The PSA noted that maintenance contracts are having a detrimental impact upon staff, particularly in the context of already serious workload issues. The PSA noted that there was a large increase in workload as a result of the maintenance contracts, and that staff were also being called upon to deal with technical matters.
The PSA noted that failures and delays by the Land and Housing Corporation led to increased pressure on Housing staff and resulted in an escalation of problems for tenants.
The PSA requested that management advise staff of the procedure for escalating issues where there were service delivery concerns as a result of delays by Land and Housing Corporation.
Management advised that the implementation of the Ariba system will resolve many of these issues, but the PSA continues to have concerns given the change management failures present in the maintenance contract issue. The PSA notes that the Ariba system is currently being piloted and will seek updates from management about the Pilot.
The PSA advises members not to perform technical work that is not within their role description. The PSA also advises members to contact the PSA Member Support Centre if they have any concerns about the maintenance contract issue.
The PSA has raised this issue at peak consultative meetings and will be meeting with Paul Vevers, as well as Land and Housing Corporation, to communicate and resolve these issues.
There was nothing to report on this issue but the PSA will continue to seek updates at each JCC.
The PSA was advised that the tender process is currently underway and there may be announcements about the non-government providers in about February 2017. The PSA was advised that Group homes will not be transferred until mid 2017.