The quarterly Joint Consultative Committee meeting between the PSA and Local Land Services was held on 20 February 2019. The bulletin is to provide a summary of key discussion points and outcomes from the meeting.
Workforce transition plans (restructures)
We are advised at this point there are currently no pending changes and that we will be contacted and consulted if anything arises. Leading into the election you would expect a quieter period. Of course, we await the results of the election with interest.
The PSA has continually pressed management in regard to the impact of short-term funding on fixed-term employees.
At the JCC, the PSA reminded management of the high costs around employment and development of staff and the terrible waste when existing valuable employees are lost. We asked there be better communication regarding employment and developmental opportunities to increase the scope for fixed-term employees in attaining ongoing employment in the agency. This involves employees being made aware of vacancies in a timely fashion and ongoing conversations about secondments, higher duties opportunities, training and the like.
It is in your interest to actively pursue such conversations.
Work Health & Safety
All sites in the agency should have an appropriate register to ensure hazardous materials such as asbestos are identified and handled appropriately. Procedures should be in place in each workplace to ensure breaches do not occur that expose anyone to hazardous materials. The PSA has sought clarity from LLS that such procedures and awareness exist within the organisation. We await their response but we ask you to be aware and to raise concerns and issues with your Work Health & Safety representatives or your employer. If your issues are not addressed or are urgent please contact your delegate or the PSA.
The PSA advised there have been instances where employees have been expected to be available for phone calls or recall to duty but are advised they will not be paid the on-call allowance applicable under the Award. Any manager who thinks this is appropriate needs to reassess their understanding of managerial authority and a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.
You are paid a wage for particular hours (with some manoeuvrability under flexible working arrangements). Any expectations by management outside of that needs to be dealt with using the conditions defined in the Award.
Be aware too, that when you are on leave, you are on leave. You certainly cannot be on call or expected to work at those times. Leave is not only a time to enjoy, it is a time to recover. To expect someone to be on-call during leave breaches the entire concept of Work Health & Safety.
The PSA has raised concerns regarding the level of detail required by management when on sick leave. A significant issue is the specific drop down boxes in MyHQ which have some criteria and categories that are inappropriate. Management advised that staff have the option to enter “Discussed/Confidential” or “Medical – other” if they wish to keep their illness confidential. The PSA asked that these options be placed at the top of the list rather than scrolling to the bottom of the list. Members should also note that they can provide information that they wish to keep confidential to HR instead of their manager.
For your information the award you work under continues as it is unless the parties seek to change it. The Wages Policy Taskforce has been a significant impediment in the level of change obtainable. It has been able to restrict most change where there could be any additional cost under the guise that it is at odds with the Government’s restrictive wages policy.
The current Government’s record has been abysmal. The public service has been reduced well beyond cutting any mythical fat. They’re eating into the bone. They have undermined your rights regarding workers’ compensation. They have taken away existing appeal mechanisms in the Industrial Relations Commission relating to promotions. The Government Sector Employment Act has made exiting you from employment so much easier.
They have almost managed to take away the deserved sense of pride in being a public servant.
Where they don’t cut jobs, they privatise services.
The one thing we don’t want after the upcoming election is them saying they have been given a mandate to continue their destruction.
March 23 is a time when you get to have a say. The PSA respects the diversity of view held by our membership but a Government that attacks our members is a Government that has to go. This is your chance. To Save the State, Change the Government click HERE.