POVB Members' Update - 27 February 2015 - Public Service Association

POVB Members’ Update – 27 February 2015

IRC109/2015 John Morony Motions

CSNSW notified a dispute pursuant to s.130 of the Industrial Relations Act on 25 February 2015. The matter was heard before Commissioner Newall on 26 February 2015 commencing at 10.30am.

Commissioner Newall, in previous matters relating to our Workers Compensation, had expressed his empathy for Prison Officers and the situation they now find themselves in under the new Workers Compensation legislation of 2012.

In this matter JMCC had put in place what the Department viewed as industrial action following the injury of one of the members at that location and subsequent deduction of $588 from his pay, being a consequence of the interpretation of the 2012 Workers Compensation legislation (PIAWE). (Click here to read the letter to Attorney-General Hazzard and Minister Perrottet).

Commissioner Newall recommended in this matter a number of things, but primarily he recommended that normal work must be carried out from 12.45pm (26 February 2015).

Yet again, your Industrial Advocate, Dave McCauley, has done an outstanding job of representing Prison Officers and their concerns relating to the inequity of the Workers Compensation legislation. Commissioner Newall’s sympathy for the injured officer and indeed all injured officers, was to require the Department to make recompense for the officer’s lost earnings.

Accordingly, JMCC have, as of today, removed anything that could be considered a ban or limitation and are working strictly to the principles of DOFRO.

The POVB and the Association again implore all of our members to apply these principles prior to intervening in any matter or any incident while carrying out your duties.

Meeting with Attorney-General Hazzard and Minister Perrottet

On 6 February 2015 we met with Attorney-General Hazzard and Minister Perrottet with the intent of discussing the issues relating to Workers Compensation identified by Prison Officers as being particularly unfair and not supporting Prison Officers in returning to work after being injured.

Those discussions resulted in Minister Hazzard giving a brief written undertaking that both he and Minister Perrottet were supportive of our position. The issue that was and is at the top of our list is the payment of PIAWE when an individual has had less than a full week on Workers Compensation. The method currently used almost always ensures that the officer loses money. This is the exact situation that brought about the John Morony Motions to which I referred to in IRC109/2015. I have again contacted the Minister’s Office requesting urgent action regarding this matter.

Kirkconnell Correctional Centre

Following the announcement by Government that they would re-open Kirkconnell Correctional Centre, inmate work gangs have commenced a clean-up of that facility.

The Department’s estimation was that it could house inmates in as little as four (4) weeks. My estimation and other people’s opinions is that it may take considerably longer. Notwithstanding that, we have had no discussions with CSNSW about what the actual operations of this facility will be and we will provide further updates and information on this as they come to hand.

Grafton Correctional Centre

Unfortunately with inmate numbers still rising at record levels, the Government has not opted to open Grafton Correctional Centre, however, most of you would know that the positions of Senior and Correctional Officer at Grafton are being advertised.

This is being done solely on the basis that Grafton will recommence visits for inmates held in that centre in the very near future and those positions are now established and will be filled through a merit process. Officers with Right of Return letters wishing to fill those positions should apply.

CSNSW had agreed to establishing visits some time prior to the commencement of re-opening Kirkconnell and local members and delegates have had discussions about the operations and are continuing in the process of getting the visit facility functional.


Steve McMahon
Prison Officers Vocational Branch

Letter to Attorney-General Hazzard and Minister Perrottet


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