Legal Aid - Update October 2018 - Public Service Association

Legal Aid – Update October 2018

Legal Aid Update Octoner 2018 (pdf version)

Grants restructure

The biggest issue for members is the open office plan. The plan will see solicitors removed from offices and placed in a noisy and stressful environment. While some members are already in an open office space, the PSA is aware that under the new plan, the sizes of existing work stations will be much smaller, effectively half of what exists currently.

The PSA has highlighted the significant work health and safety issues of the open office plan proposal to Legal Aid. The open office plan has no evidence base. In fact, an open plan office goes against what has been recommended by the Polaris report commissioned by Legal Aid last year.

The existing WHS issues in the Grants division will only be exacerbated by an open office environment. Extensive academic research indicates that open plan offices increase stress levels of employees and lead to unproductive and inefficient workplaces.

In a letter sent last week, the PSA has sought an urgent meeting with Legal Aid over the matter. The letter can be found HERE. However, we have not received a response.

The assistance of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission will be sought if an appropriate resolution cannot be reached with Legal Aid.

Administrative Services Review

The PSA has been contacted by Legal Aid about the Administrative Services Review. A copy of the correspondence can be found HERE.

People & Organisational Development (POD) Review

Members will be aware the POD is being restructured. PSA organiser Kirra Jackson attended last Friday’s workshop in relation to POD. Concerned members in POD have already contacted the PSA, but we encourage all members to put forth their feedback about the changes proposed.

Client Assessment and Referral Service (CARS)

Legal Aid have also sought to undertake a review of CARS. Correspondence to the Association can be found HERE. We have already received contact from members about the review, however, we encourage further member responses.

People Matter Survey results

The PSA understands that members are unhappy that management have asked them to openly express their views on the results in meetings with management. The PSA has contacted Legal Aid about this and advised that members do not necessarily wish to openly discuss the results in front of management. If you would like to remain anonymous and send feedback to Legal Aid about the survey, this can be done through the PSA.

Peak Consultative Committee meeting

The best way to keep your rights at work is to get involved. The PSA is looking for more members to join its delegates committee. Delegates are vital to the PSA’s capacity to advocate for members. The sheer number of changes proposed at Legal Aid means that delegates are more important than ever.


The PSA encourages members to

  • Talk to your co-workers about the issues above
  • Share this bulletin with your co-workers
  • Ask your co-workers to join the union to keep up the fight
  • Attend PSA meetings at your workplace
  • Get involved and become a local contact

Your PSA Staff:

Monika Wunderlin – PSA Industrial Officer

Kirra Jackson – PSA Organiser



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