Flexible working hours consultation: PSA continues to agitate for Transport for NSW to manage workloads
As you may have seen in our recent bulletin HERE, the PSA and combined Transport unions are meeting with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to address the massive workloads and subsequent excessive hours of work resulting in the forfeiture of flex time.
As we highlighted in our previous bulletin, we were in discussions with TfNSW on several issues:
Carry over forfeited flex
At this stage, it is agreed that August and November forfeited flex can be carried over, and if these hours cannot be taken by the end of the January settlement period, they will be paid out. How will the carry-over work?
August Settlement Period
Those members who had forfeited flex for the August settlement period would have received a letter this week advising them that those hours will automatically be converted to TIL. Members can use these hours on top of their flex days.
November Settlement Period
TfNSW will be managing these hours that would be forfeited per the Flexible Working Hours Agreement provisions that allow for the carryover of flex time. This means that to carry over forfeited flex, members will need to get approval from their manager and develop a plan for reducing these hours.
The rationale of TfNSW was that they had commenced engagement with management to take steps to help their staff members manage their workloads and hours of work.
Strategies for managing workloads and flex
The discussions with TfNSW on strategies to manage workloads and forfeiture are in their infancy.
We have provided feedback to TfNSW on the material they have developed to educate employees and their managers. The PSA has made clear that we do not want members being pressured to reduce their hours when their workload does not accommodate that reduction, and there has been no adjustment to workloads. TfNSW has agreed that this is not what they intend to happen. However, where there can be a reduction in hours, for example, with tasks being reprioritised or completed later, this may result in the manager asking the employee to reduce their hours of work.
Whilst neither party intends for managers to make arbitrary directions for members to reduce their hours, the PSA know that some managers may engage in inappropriate practices. Managers will likely start engaging with their employees soon, if they have not already. If members have any issues with their managers, please contact the PSA, and we will assist you.
There is a big task ahead. TfNSW reports that the August settlement period has seen above 60 000 hours of forfeited flex time across the organisation.
The PSA will continue working with TfNSW to identify the drivers behind these work hours, including if there is under-resourcing.
What can members do?
- Record your hours correctly (even if they are outside bandwidth or above 10 hours).
- If you can, engage with your manager about your workload and hours of work to see if they can assist you in reducing your hours.
- Attend any member meetings.
- Contact the PSA, or your local delegate, if you have any questions or concerns.
The PSA has organised a number of meetings for members to attend to discuss the above and any other issues you may be having at work. Please attend whichever meeting works best for you.
Date: Wednesday, 19 October
We ask that members please register for this meeting to ensure we have an idea of the numbers attending. Please register for this meeting HERE.
Date: Friday, 21 October
Please register for this meeting HERE.