As reported in our earlier Bulletin HERE, the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), at the request of NSW Police, issued Dispute Orders banning the PSA from taking industrial action in the Security Management Unit (SMU) until March next year. Any breach of these orders will result in fines against the PSA of up to $20,000 for the first day and $10,000 for each day thereafter. NSW Police wants to smash your industrial campaign because they know you are right. As part of this process, NSW Police agreed to engage with the PSA in a series of formal meetings with regular report backs to the IRC. But they have reneged on this agreement after a single meeting.
A meeting was held on 4 November 2019 and during the meeting NSW Police refused to commit to a formal process and required the PSA to submit a list of matters for discussion.
The PSA provided a list of proposed topics: Pay (same as Sheriff’s Officers), Rank Structure, Management Restructure, Training, Medals and Role Description. Upon receipt of the PSA’s list, NSW Police Workforce Relations asked for time to consult Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart, who was returning from a secondment.
This meeting was scheduled for 21 November 2019.
On the afternoon of Friday, 22 November 2019, after repeated telephone calls, Workforce Relations finally got back to us and advised that AC Stewart had stated that he saw no point in continuing discussions on pay, reorganisation of the SMU or the Role Description. The Medals and Training issue were in train, but did not require further meetings.
Your delegates discussed this appalling news and resolved to continue our campaign for fair pay and recognition.
NSW Police has reneged on the agreement made at the IRC hearing. They believe they can get away with this behaviour because they are protected by the NSW Government’s draconian industrial relations laws and restrictive Wages Policy.
At the IRC hearing on 25 November 2019, conciliation was terminated on the grounds that NSW Police is refusing to talk. The matter was set down for hearing on 30 March 2020.
The PSA has appointed lawyers to run the case to fight as strongly as possible for a fair Role Description rather than the insulting version NSW Police has stubbornly refused to upgrade appropriately over more than 18 months of dispute.
The PSA will continue its campaign to draw attention to the inequities in pay and conditions. Although we are prevented from taking further industrial action by the Dispute Orders, there are plenty of ways to let NSW Police know that Special Constables are not prepared to put up with being second-class employees. Your delegates will be talking to you about what can be done over the next few months.
It is beyond disappointing the lengths NSW Police is prepared to go to in order to suppress the completely justified claims for fair pay and recognition for the work of Special Constables. The SMU continues to see a revolving door of Commanders who aren’t security experts and don’t understand the important work you do. This is what has led to rubber-stamping undervalued Role Descriptions in the first place.
It is not hard to understand why the morale and retention in the SMU is so poor when the agency is intent on treating you all so flippantly and disrespectfully.
The fight will continue.