PSA Delegates and industrial staff met with icare management for our last Joint Consultative Committee for 2020, the following is a report back to members from that meeting.
Flexible working hours
It was reported to the committee that a fair amount of communication had been sent out along with coaching of people leaders. It has been generally accepted that the issue has mostly been resolved and that members are now back to enjoying the usual Flexitime arrangements pre-COVID-19.
Return to the office
The main focus at the moment is on the upcoming lease renewal arrangements for 321 Kent Street in June 2021 and the requirements around that in COVID-normal times.
In general, it was expressed that the changes with regards to flexibility were probably for the better in the long term and there was an acknowledgement that work from home in a number of circumstances had been beneficial to icare and it was unlikely that there would be a return to the Monday-to-Friday office work.
A question was asked of icare as to flexibility regarding office location and it was noted that while in the first phase of return to office there was a requirement that staff attend a specific location this had now been relaxed and there was more freedom of choice. The only requirement is that staff are required to book a desk at a location so that rations can be managed.
The views that were expressed to the PSA was certainly one where there was no intent to impose a ‘one size fits all’ option onto staff and for teams to work out how best they work together.
There is a future survey that has been put temporarily on hold due to the PMES and CGA surveys that will go to staff seeking views as to this issue in the near future.
The Group Executive, People and Workplace provided the PSA with an update on the progress with the Culture Governance Audit independent review being undertaken by PWC.
It was acknowledged that the current review was primarily focused on the nominal insurer and icare had provided feedback to PWC but as it is independent there is a limit to what they can affect.
The current timeframe will see a draft report being provided to the Group Executive before the end of the year with the final report expected in either late January or February 2021.
The PSA was also afforded an opportunity to make a submission through to the McDougall review which we will work with our Delegates to provide further input.
Office security incidents
The PSA was provided a briefing on two recent security issues that arose from threats being made towards the Sydney and Newcastle offices.
The PSA was satisfied that icare was undertaking the appropriate WHS measures and risk assessments in relation to this.
It was advised that icare was now fast-tracking recommendations from a security assessment that had been undertaken by an external specialist earlier in the year and that they were making a further evaluation as to whether the risk assessment had changed and that this work would be completed before Christmas.
Award salary increase
PSA members will receive separate communications from the PSA as to our position on this year’s 0.3 per cent pay increase and the Government’s projected offer of 1.5 per cent for 2021.
However, it is expected that the nominal pay increase for 2020 back dated to 1 July will be paid to icare staff before the end of the year.
A reminder that icare will be following the Premier’s Memorandum for the Christmas Closedown which is from 25 December 2020 through to 11 January 2021.
Members with any questions as to the Christmas Closedown are reminded of our previous bulletin HERE.