Flexi-time for Intelligence Officers and Statisticians
Members may have heard that State Intelligence Command (SIC) management has commenced a process of putting all newly appointed and promoted staff onto rosters and converting their SAP positions from Flexi-time to rostered.
The PSA requested consultation on this and management confirmed the plan at a meeting on Tuesday, 6 July 2021. The process only applies to Intelligence Officer and Statistician positions (including supervisors), not to clerical and administrative positions. Management argues it needs to deploy Intelligence Officers and Statisticians for operations on weekends and in the evenings, which cannot easily be done under Flexi-time.
Although rosters do have advantages, including the ability to claim overtime and guaranteed regular days off, the PSA is not supportive of management’s process for the following reasons:
- In the first few years, only a small number of newly appointed staff will be available to participate in operations.
- Flexi-time in not just about days off, it allows staff to start late or finish early to deal with personal issues.
- Flexi-time and rostered staff will be working side by side for many years.
- Rostered staff would be likely to be preferred for career advancement because of operational experience in their CVs.
The PSA criticised SIC management for not involving the staff and the union in discussions prior to proceeding with this process. The union pointed out that staff might be prepared to modify the Flexi-time rules to allow more deployment options if they were consulted. SIC management has agreed to consider a submission from the PSA on options for doing this.
Members and the union have a number of choices:
- Let the process proceed with all existing staff remaining on Flexi-time and watch Flexi-time positions eventually disappear in SIC.
- Dispute the process and defend all Flexi-time rights. This might be difficult, as at least some of management’s business requirements are genuine.
- Negotiate a compromise Local Agreement for all staff which retains most Flexi-time rights, while allowing more people to participate in evening and weekend operations.
- As above, but on an opt-in basis for existing staff.
We urgently need feedback from Intelligence Officers, Statisticians and their supervisors as to which way we should go. Do you want to be rostered for some after-hours operations? Or do you want to keep your flexi-time entitlements exactly as they are?
Working from home
On another important issue, the PSA has been hearing that members who were allowed to work from home (WFH) last year are having difficulties getting their applications processed this time around. If you were able to WFH last year, there is no doubt that you can do it and management should fast-track approval this time around. At the time of writing, COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in Sydney and any member who is experiencing problems getting approval to WFH should email Andy Wright at the address above.
The matter will be raised with Police at our next COVID Consultative meeting.
Support your union
The PSA is your vehicle to engage with management on these vital issues regarding your working life. If you know someone who is not yet in the union, encourage them to join today. The stronger we are, the better position we are in to make management listed to the needs of their staff.
Anyone wishing to join the union should contact their local PSA Delegate, your Organiser Marko Petrovic at or join online at www.psa.asn.au/join.