Firstly, sincere apologies to members and delegates who intended to
participate in the State -wide meeting scheduled for Wednesday 9 August. This had to be abandoned because of technical difficulties and we trust that you received the text sent advising you of the problem.
This meeting has been rescheduled for 4.30 pm on Wednesday 16 August. Members will recall that this is the date listed for final submissions in the IRC dispute. This will provide the opportunity for members to be given a direct and up to date report on the proceedings.
Members are also encouraged to attend the proceedings to demonstrate their solidarity.
Below is the link to register and join in the rescheduled meeting:
Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer, mobile app or room device
Meeting ID: 480 018 789 906
Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) members’ update
Your Delegates and Industrial staff met with ODPP representatives on 26 July 2023.
The meeting considered the following issues:
Standing items and Reports
WHS: The Wellbeing Policy is being revised and will be circulated to the PSA. There has been a good uptake of flu vaccination.
Dispute: This is listed for 16 August 2028 for closing submissions.
MATTERS update: IT is working to resolve issues as they arise. Staff are encouraged to continue to generate tickets if experiencing issues with MATTERS so that they can be tracked and resolved expeditiously.
Members should advise delegates if issues are not being resolved so these can be followed up with the JCC.
PaTH/MyWorkZone update: DCJ SSCX team is now servicing staff for payroll matters.
Those with financial delegations are familiarizing themselves with the system. There are some issues with workflows not accurately capturing old cost centers. Work is ongoing to resolve these teething issues.
Update on Sydney Office relocation: The plan has now been signed off. Parking is only available for the office fleet in a ten-car stacker carpark as there is no car parking underneath the building because of the Metro station.
Workload Management Tool (WMT): There is still work required. Once MATTERS has been implemented, further changes can be made and implemented. Development work is required in relation to business intelligence (BI); estimated delay of 6-8 weeks. Full implementation will not occur until February 2024.
Overtime Requests: If a staff member is required to work past 7pm, they should contact their manager by email or phone (or ask them their preferred method) and then the Managing Solicitor is to obtain approval from the relevant Deputy Solicitor who has oversight of that group. It is preferable that one does not wait until 7pm to seek overtime, so if it can be expected that that is going to be the case, this should be identified and raised with the manager.
Optimum Practice Size: The “Optimum Practice Size” (OPS) remains under review after the rollout of MATTERS (between July 2023 and February 2024). Staff are encouraged to check their “weighting” and contrast it with their hours, this will help the office accurately determine the actual number the OPS should be.
If members need assistance with this, please contact Amanda-Lee James who can help talk you through it. Remember – the numbers 25-35 are tentative figures and not definitive.
PSA delegate representation and support in grievance matter :
Delegates are always able to act as support people on behalf of members in any proceedings (formal or informal) or assist with support as required and this is encouraged by the PSA.
WASO Workload Limits: The PSA advised that it had received reports of very large practice sizes, for example 90-100 matters per WASO and sought advice on whether management is aware of this issue. The Deputy Director advised that he asked for a report on average numbers in practices; the current average is 77 active clients. The WMT developer has been commissioned to account more appropriately for WAS workloads. Also, seven staff are about to be recruited.
Current Flex Forfeiture: The PSA sought updated data and was advised that a data report had been prepared for the period until 10 June 2023. 90% of the forfeiture was ascribable to solicitors and 10% to other staff. The PSA sought information about measures to manage this issue and was advised that solicitor recruitment was being considered in addition to the additional WASOs.
Solicitor Advocate Briefing: Advice was sought as to whether SAs are eligible for Higher Duties Allowance when briefed in trials that should be allocated to Crown Prosecutors. The office’s position is that as Crown Prosecutors are statutory appointments, there are no requirements for them to be paid at the higher rate. It was suggested that some SAs actively seek CP cases, and that this was a matter of choice. SAs are advised to speak to Deputy Solicitors in the first instance if they think that they have been briefed inappropriately and if agreed, it will be returned to the briefing unit for reallocation.
Flexible working hours recording in SAP: A question was asked arising out of some issues at one office as to how staff should record hours in SAP/WMZ where they work outside of core hours, and whether core hours apply, noting FW policy allows more flexibility outside of core hours. This office seems to apply a stricter approach, and it was questioned whether this is consistent with the policy.
The response was that this would be checked. Advice was provided that ideally staff should record hours appropriately, but a note in SAP may suffice accounting for actual hours. Management will provide an answer reconciling the policy and the agreement.
The Representation, OPS and Flexible Work issues are to be carried over as standing items.
Management is to prepare a draft JCC TOR.
Next meeting: 2pm 25 Oct 2023