Light fleet dispute update
The Public Service Association, COI Steering Committee members and combined unions attended conciliation on Friday 1 March 2019 regarding the dispute over the RMS Light Fleet Vehicle Policy.
The PSA had previously met with RMS representatives on 18 February 2019, where the substance of the dispute was discussed at length. Furthermore, RMS representatives provided their position to the combined unions on 28 February 2019. The RMS response provides considerable concern, as there is now an opinion that there are certain activities, including HVIS and HVSS that do not require the use of a fleet vehicle. What that means for staff has not been properly elaborated.
The PSA can confirm some progress with elements of the dispute. The RMS, through its legal representatives, has finally submitted that work begins for COIs when they attend their home station to pick up a fleet vehicle. This is in direct contrast with the 19 December 2018 email from the RMS CaRS Director. This will mean a review of the more than 100 denied claims for overtime over the past two months and an understanding of the real costs of the adoption of the Light Fleet Vehicle Policy. The PSA asks that members continue with overtime applications and suggests to those staff who followed the directions of management to consider whether they should also seek a review.
The fundamental concern that exists is that the PSA and members were always sceptical of the adoption of the policy in this way to operational staff. Now the added expense and the reduction in operational efficiency is simply highlighting those concerns.
The PSA and COI Steering Committee members are due to meet again as part of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales Commissioner’s Recommendations on a date to be confirmed and there is a report back on 5 April 2019.
As the NSW Government is currently in caretaker mode, the PSA will be writing to the NSW Roads Minister (whomever that may be) after the NSW state election to seek a meeting to discuss the disturbing reduction in operational efficiency that has since developed, in part, because of the enactment of the light fleet vehicle policy.
NSW road users should be outraged that the RMS is pursuing systemic cuts to operational activities that will lead to less regulation of the heavy vehicle industry when there are more heavy vehicles on NSW roads than ever. Non-compliance fines have exploded in some areas now that COI vehicles are off the road.
The PSA will provide updates after those meetings have taken place.