Joint Consultative Committee meeting: State Emergency Service - Public Service Association

Joint Consultative Committee meeting: State Emergency Service

On Thursday 21 March 2024 the PSA hosted the March meeting of the State Emergency Service (SES) Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting at PSA House in Sydney. Your delegates Nicole Harding and Craig Ronan were present, representing membership.

The SES Director People and Development Chaired the meeting and reported on several crucial issues currently in play at the SES.

People Matter Survey results

The 2023 People Matter Survey results were discussed, and the very high participation rate, up to 95 per cent, was lauded.

PSA win: Backpay for on-call allowance

A great win for 42 members, who have received backpay for underpayment of an on-call allowance. The PSA congratulated SES management on their proactive engagement with this issue.

Mutual Gains Bargaining

The issue of Mutual Gains bargaining, in relation to negotiating for wages and conditions was discussed. Mutual Gains bargaining was introduced in November 2023 by the Minister for Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis. While there are some positives in this change for members, the PSA remains cautious, and will not support any changes in wages or conditions which could disadvantage members. This issue will be a standing agenda item for future JCCs.

Safety update: Managing psychosocial hazards at work

The safety update was presented and the SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for Managing psychosocial hazards at work was discussed. The Code of Practice can be downloaded HERE.

Psychosocial hazards include role overload, exposure to traumatic events, lack of role clarity, poor support, inadequate reward and recognition, poor procedural justice, poor change consultation, and harmful workplace behaviour such as bullying and sexual harassment.

Hearing tests for SES staff, not drug testing

SES staff will also have audio-metric testing provided to test for hearing damage. New employees will be provided the test in their first three months, and existing staff will be able to take the test within the next two years. It was reported that letters had been sent out to members stating that there is drug testing. However, these letters were sent out in error by the testing provider! It is a hearing test, NOT a drug test!

Complaint guidelines

In other policy news, the new Compliant Guidelines are being finalised, and the complaints process will replace the current grievance procedures. Furthermore, the sexual harassment policy is near completion, and workshops will be rolled out for staff and management.

Flexible Working Agreement

The SES new Flexible Working Agreement draft was presented. The Agreement is still in its early development stages, and the PSA will work closely with management to ensure the best outcome for members.

Temp roles

On the issue of temporary roles within the SES and any impact the budget may have on them, the PSA remains committed to fighting to transmit those roles to ongoing positions. This issue will remain on the JCC agenda.

Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

The SES is looking for membership for a Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup – the PSA recommends that members be a part of this. To express your interest please complete THIS FORM by close of business Friday 12 April 2024.

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