On 16 June, the PSA wrote to the Secretary of FACS to outline our concerns about proposed changes to the senior staff resulting from the Government Sector Employment Act and to seek further information.
The PSA met with the Secretary on 28 July 2014, followed by the Joint Consultative Committee meeting of 2 September 2014 where the issue was also discussed. It was discussed again with senior departmental representatives today, 15 September.
The Department verbally outlined the following:
- Approximately 430 plus executive staff, including Senior Officers, their equivalents and current SES would be affected by the GSE overhaul.
- Concurrent with the OneFACS initiative, the transition will occur through phased implementation over the next several years.
- Home Care is quarantined from the transition with services slated for privatisation.
- Recruitment of new OneFACS Band 3 SES positions has concluded with the appointment of 8 new Deputy Secretaries announced. New reporting arrangements will take effect on 1 October 2014.
- It is anticipated that recruitment for SES Band 2 positions will commence towards the end of October through until December 2014. SES Band 1 positions are likely to begin recruitment from February 2015.
- Treasury are considering a general voluntary redundancy program. This will be targeted at eligible senior officers, their equivalents and eligible grade 11/12 staff. In scope are Divisional head office and FACS central staff. Excluded from the proposal are staff attached to Districts.
- Separate to the voluntary redundancy program, any restructuring under OneFACS that results in the deletion of Senior Officer and grade 11/12 roles will be dealt with in accordance with the Managing Excess Employees policy. This includes Officers being given priority assessments for other suitable roles.
- FACS have provided a submission to the Public Service Commission detailing the process they intend to follow with respect to GSE compliance. This will be made available post-approval.
We have sought written confirmation of the information outlined above.
The PSA have requested that the Department prepare a Change Management Plan in accordance with the Agency Change Management Guidelines. This document will detail the changes to the Department’s organisational structures including changes to existing positions/roles.
In addition, we have sought further detail (‘Staff Management Plan’) regarding the Department’s proposed voluntary redundancy program including the process for determining expressions of interest, the implementation and management of affected staff.
The PSA will continue to consult with the Department to improve outcomes for members, and will keep you informed of any new developments.
For further information please email Thane Pearce, Senior Industrial Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org