Following on from the PSA’s last quarterly Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) with Multicultural NSW (MCNSW) on 8 August 2019, the agency has consulted with the PSA over a number of issues raised on behalf of members; and taken advice on best practice systems including the establishment of compliant WHS systems and incident reporting within the agency.
The CEO has since provided the PSA with a progress report on matters of concern to our members. This meaningful consultation and the dedication of PSA delegates in raising member concerns, has resulted in significant outcomes for members and staff at Multicultural NSW.
Realignment Review: What worked well? What could be improved?
The PSA conveyed to MCNSW what worked well with the realignment was the agency’s consultation with the Association in devising a Change Management Plan and most of the implementation. We are pleased many previously unfilled long term vacancies have been filled, providing alleviation of member workload issues. However, the process undertaken for staff absorption of some miscellaneous duties was not ideal.
Where roles have been realigned, the PSA sought from MNSW assurance of continuing consultation and review of any issues identified by our members concerning re-distribution of duties, updated role descriptions and/or training requirements.
For clarity, the PSA requested and was provided with a current MCNSW Organisational Chart and Divisions summary; and worked through the status of each role in the JCC meeting. We continue to seek member feedback on roles and functions and any delegations, workload or training concerns that arise.
Outcomes: The MCNSW CEO has undertaken that this will remain open to review and consultation and should member issues arise they will be addressed. The updated Organisational Chart is now posted on the intranet
Work Health Safety (WHS) and Injury Management
The PSA urged the agency to reinvigorate WHS practices to ensure compliance with legislative requirements. The agency agreed to update all MCNSW WHS policies and procedures in consultation with the PSA, including the agency’s Worker’s Compensation and Incident/Injury Notification policy and forms.
The PSA previously expressed concerns that the current paper copy Incident Report Form remains on the insurance company’s letterhead, rather than being MCNSW branded as an internal document. It was also noted that the rest of the cluster is able to report incidents online in SAP.
After the JCC meeting discussion, the PSA provided MCNSW HR with advice and resources on establishing Work Groups, nomination/election of HSRs and the role of WHS Committees.
- MCNSW/HR undertook to explore and be advised on WHS best practice and incident reporting.
- MNSW/HR agreed to review incident reporting within the agency including agency branded forms.
- MCNSW has since advised the PSA, they have sought nominations from staff in-line with the PSA’s recommended approach and will follow up once they receive responses and encourage staff to engage with the WHS nomination process at the next All Staff morning tea.
- WHS action items will remain on the agenda for a progress report at the next JCC meeting.
Staff Professional Learning, Development and PDPs
The PSA had sought an undertaking that staff Work Development Plans (WDPs) would directly inform the training requirements in the agency; with individual requests still able to be made via the Training Nomination Form, subject to approval by the Senior Leadership Team.
- MCNSW has advised that a budget has been set aside for training and refresher courses.
- Work Development Plans (WDPs) are now called Performance Development Plans (PDPs) in line with the rest of the Public Sector and have been uploaded online for improved accessibility.
- MCNSW has communicated with all staff, outlining the process for integrating training requests into PDPs and individual requests for training and development opportunities.
- MCNSW has conducted training for all staff in Diversity and Inclusion.
Review of Crown Employees (Interpreters and Translators, Multicultural NSW) Award 2016
After the PSA raised the due date for review of the Crown Employees (Interpreters and Translators, Multicultural NSW) Award 2016 (“the Award”), consultation took place over a number of weeks. The PSA and MCNSW took the Award to the Industrial Relations Commission for section 19 review.
The Industrial Relations Commissioner required the wording in certain clauses of the Award be redrafted into plain English but aside from that, no substantial changes were made to the award. Once the appropriate wording was agreed, approval was granted by the IRC.
Machinery of Government (MOG) Changes and the Efficiency Dividend
The PSA enquired whether the 1 July 2019 Machinery of Government changes (bringing Justice to the FACS cluster, would impact on staff at Multicultural NSW, noting MCNSW is a statutory organisation. We were advised no significant changes would affect our members. However, a change in financial reporting lines under the new Department of Communities and Justice (DC&J) cluster is noted and we will continue to watch for impacts on future funding.
The PSA also questioned the effect of the government’s required budget savings known as the “efficiency dividend”. We explained the effects on workplace morale, generating a sense of insecurity in a climate of cuts and changes. The PSA continues to promote the benefits of a stable, secure skilled public sector workforce to the agency, its clients and our members.
The PSA will continue to watch for any negative impacts of funding and reporting changes on our members.
People Matters Survey (PMES) Results
The PSA encouraged MCNSW to analyse and utilise the valuable data from the People Matters Survey, explaining that staff engagement year on year, depends on the belief that they are being listened to and consequent action is taken.
The association is encouraged that MCNSW has conducted PMES focus sessions with staff to glean more meaningful feedback from the results. The PSA will request more detail on this at the next JCC meeting.
We would like to acknowledge and thank the MCNSW workplace delegates for their hard work, commitment and efforts on behalf of PSA members.
If any of these issues are of concern to you, please contact the PSA for support and assistance.
Kris Cruden Industrial Manager
Sharon Richards Organiser
Katy Ambler Industrial Officer
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