The PSA, along with your delegates, participated in the Joint Consultative Committee meeting recently. A number of important issues were addressed and details are below.
The PSA advised management that the telematics systems installed into vehicles are currently a work in progress with new advice to be completed by EPA executives on the operation of the system. A serious lack of staff consultation and lack of correct information relating to this system is causing problems. The PSA has already received numerous complaints relating to this system and is awaiting confirmation that the position of the system in the vehicle poses a possible WH&S risk. If we can establish there is a Work Health and Safety issue, then their operation will cease until they are safe to operate. Staff who have issues using the system should contact the PSA with their concerns. The PSA was also advised by EPA management the Q&A provided to staff was from another agency that had no relevance to the current system. The PSA is currently seeking the EPA’s telematics policy.
Operations Coordination Unit
The PSA raised concerns with EPA management that the Operations Coordination Unit (OCU) – previously the HUB) is currently forwarding work to all areas of the EPA with limited staff. This is creating a delay in material being sent out to Operations Officers and alike. The EPA were advised by our members who believe their work is being delayed by this process. Affected members should contact the PSA to establish this is a major issue currently within the EPA.
Since the announcement that Contractors were not having their contracts with the EPA extended, the OCU has lost 4 staff. These staff have been trained to complete all tasks within the OCU which takes an extensive time to properly train. Again, this is causing serious impacts across the EPA and the PSA will continue to actively assess this issue.
The PSA is concerned that EPA management have re-introduced ‘Service Zones’ which appears to be a reversal of the current operational model back to the previous work flows. This issue will continue to be a focus for the PSA.
The PSA sought confirmation from the EPA regarding their Covid vaccination policy as all agencies were currently reviewing their Covid policies. The PSA was advised, the EPA would continue with the current policy, however would wait for DPE to provide their new draft policy.
The PSA also raised concerns regarding the renewal of temporary contracts and the impact this would have on current EPA staff. The PSA’s concerns with these functions being undertaken by temporary employees would be then picked up by other EPA staff. If a temporary employee in your area has not been extended and the workload is expected to be picked up by you, please contact the PSA immediately.
The PSA also has concerns regarding staffing gaps and the number of unfilled positions currently across the organisation. The PSA reminds members it is important not to take up the work assigned to vacant positions. Please contact the PSA immediately if asked to do the work of an unfilled position and this will be taken up management.
PSA EPA delegates:
Hugh Brennan 02 6333 3821
Scott King 02 6640 2554
Cheryl Ainsworth 02 9999 6720
Jane Burgett 02 9995 6911
Simon Taylor 0436 467 696