PSA representatives and Heavy Vehicle Steering Committee members attended further compulsory conciliation as part of the Light Fleet vehicle dispute on 5 April 2019.
The PSA can provide some good news to COI members. The outstanding overtime claims have been reviewed with a commitment that payment will be made in the next 4 weeks. Better late than never but disappointing that staff will have waited nearly five months for payment in some cases. The RMS are still reviewing the payment of shift penalties as well.
The RMS have provided the PSA with draft guidelines/business rules on the usage of fleet vehicles. The PSA was provided with the latest version just before we entered the IRC on 5 April. The PSA has provided considerable commentary on these business rules in order to obtain a lasting and robust understanding of the fleet vehicle usage.
The PSA and RMS are still apart on the usage of fleet vehicles to attend temporary work locations such as HVIS and HVSS. The PSA position is that staff should attend their home station and use the fleet vehicle to attend work locations in however they are rostered. The RMS maintains that some locations do not require the use of the fleet vehicle and subsequently staff can be directed to attend temporary work locations using their own devices i.e. public transport, private vehicle, bicycle etc.
The obvious PSA concerns relate to the provision of amenities at temporary worksites; the distance required for staff to travel to temporary work locations; the ability to obtain public transport to temporary work locations particularly early in the morning/late at night and; the requirements to take PPE, laptops and assigned items to temporary work locations.
The PSA is due to report back to the IRC on May 20. The Commissioner expects that the parties will have finalised the payments of overtime and have agreed business rules around the usage of fleet vehicles. If this does not happen the matter may proceed to arbitration.
This has been a rather tiresome process with the RMS making it much harder than it should have been. The PSA would like to take this time to thank the members who have gone without the pay they should have received and assisted with our campaign. It was important that the RMS provide the right entitlements for staff and that the PSA will fight at every turn to make sure those entitlements are recognised.
The RMS can now give up the charade that these decisions will not lead to a reduction in service and an increase in employee related expenses.
Whilst the expectation is that the fleet vehicles are not to ferry staff to and from work, they are a vital tool of trade and as a consequence of this decision, on-road enforcement is being systematically diminished.
The PSA and combined unions have begun a process of consultation with TfNSW on the implications of the decision to subsume the RMS. What TfNSW will say about the matter when the RMS ceases to be an agency on July 1 is currently an unknown.