PSA staff and delegates had a teleconference with SMU Management on Monday, 10 July 2017 to discuss serious Work Health and Safety concerns that had been raised with us about members being one-out on overwatch. There has also been no consultation or risk-assessment undertaken prior to implementation.
Inspector Reily assured us he was open to hearing member feedback and concerns, and informed us staff had not raised any issues with him to date about overwatch.
SMU Management made a commitment to immediately ensure that no Special Constable is left one-out when completing overwatch or on any other post. It was clarified that overwatch at the Sydney Police Centre does not require staff to go out on the street or footpath – it can be undertaken from the top of the stairs. SMU management also made a commitment to undertake a risk assessment, which includes a consultation period with all staff to hear feedback and concerns that can be incorporated into the final policy.
Consultation with workers is a key part of the Work Health and Safety Act (2011) detailed under Part 5, Division 2, Sections 47-49. There are serious penalties for victimisation of workers who are involved in consultation and providing feedback on Work Health and Safety issues.
We will continue to defend the workplace safety and rights of our members in Special Constables and will update as progress comes to hand.
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