Housing realignment, WHS and more - Public Service Association

Housing realignment, WHS and more

Housing Realignment, WHS and more – November 2018 (pdf version)

PSA industrial staff and delegates recently met with the new Executive Director, Nickola Jeffreys and senior management for the Sydney, Sydney Eastern and Northern Sydney Districts Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting.

As is custom, PSA Housing delegates and industrial staff met the week before with the new Housing Director, Shane Snibson, who had been sitting in the job for only two weeks.

Commencement of consultation over ‘proposed realignment’

Members reported to the PSA, hearing information about an imminent realignment, awaiting sign off from the union. The PSA immediately contacted the new Housing Director and reminded the department that any plans for a restructure require meaningful and effective consultation with the PSA, pursuant to award clause 65.1, and not simply sign off. The new Director noted consultation with the union had not yet been undertaken and sought to commence the process, supplying some initial information for consideration by PSA delegates and industrial staff. He undertook to then properly consult with the union and all affected employees over the coming weeks.

The Director relayed the status of this matter to the Executive Director at the JCC.

We will keep you updated and informed on the consultation.  If you have concerns, please contact the PSA on 1300 772 679.

Further items discussed included:

  • GSE Compliant Team Leader appointments have concluded at the end of October 2018
  • Confirmation that a Team Leader 12-month Recruitment Pool has been created from this recruitment process
  • Manager Operations recruitment has commenced
  • HR update was provided by Lesley Jennings.

The PSA raised member enquiries concerning the recent team leader recruitment which were taken offline. Communications could have been clearer to avoid confusion. Concern was conveyed about reports of bullying that Lesley Jennings acknowledged she was aware of. The conversation segued to Work Health and Safety.

WH&S district report

A one-page summary document from the Department was cited, recording a relatively low number of reported WH&S incidents. Whilst a low report of incidents is positive in principle, the PSA questioned whether the department believes this is a true reflection of the current work environment and culture – for example – Do you believe staff are reporting incidents of psychological injury? When we receive reports of our members being off work for extended periods of time due to psychological symptoms (usually due to alleged bullying), it is a concern that members seem unclear what process to use to report their issue. FACS has a WH&S incident report on OneSAP, a grievance process, and a FACS Respectful Workplace Policy and procedure. The PSA raised that it is unclear which one should be lodged when.

There was agreement around the room that the process for reporting mental health hazards, risks and injuries is not well understood and needs to be addressed.

NSW Government WH&S Sector Plan to 2022 and safety roadmap/implementation

The PSA provided copies of the NSW Government WH&S plan around the table and asked whether the EDD was aware that the department had committed to this plan for better WH&S outcomes from 2018-2022. The PSA conveyed we are aware that Catherine Carvolth has carriage of the implementation for the FACS Cluster and the union wishes to work with FACs in this and in the development of a FACS Mental Health Strategy.
The Work Health and Safety of our members and all employees is paramount and we will have constructive inputs into how outcomes can be improved for both the physical and mental health of workers.
This was well received by the EDD and other senior managers.

PSA staff

Katy Ambler – Industrial Officer

Vivette Horrex – Organiser     

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