POVB bulletin - Public Service Association

POVB bulletin

COVID-19

The Command Post is working on the following issues:

  • Section 23s and only essential moves – the Executive has expressed concern that there is still a large amount of escorts taking place around the state. The concern is why are the moves taking place when fresh custodies have decreased dramatically and the demand for beds has decreased.
    Once there is a decision on this we will put it in a bulletin.
  • Processes/Guidelines for what Governors and staff actually have to do when the centre has a confirmed case. At present there is no such information.
  • Staff “grooming” – we are getting information that inmates have started to try to groom staff to bring in contraband for money. The Command Post is looking at processes and communication to staff to promote professionalism and to report the inappropriate contact by inmates immediately to managers. The POVB Executive do not, in any way, condone members who assist inmates in getting contraband. Please, before you find yourselves in a situation that will affect you and your families for the rest of your lives, report it to managers or a member of the Executive. Let’s work and stay united through this time.
  • Clarification was given to Natalie Howes in the Command Post on the contact tracing. Many members were concerned that it was conducted by Justice Health. It has been confirmed that it is by Population Health, NSW Health. They have very stringent protocols and the main one is that the contact has to be longer than 15 minutes and within the 1.5 meters.
  • Natalie has advised she is in the process of developing a paper that will be a ‘how to Guide’ if someone calls the centre and says they have tested positive. This should be out tomorrow and is aimed at Govs/MOSs/FMs and those acting into FMs at any given time. There is already a really stringent tracking process in place by Population Health, however we are attempting to add another layer to this by giving Population Health as much information as possible in regards to rosters and possible interactions and assisting managers in what their obligations are in relation to notifying all involved parties.

COVID-19 and CESU

The process of redeploying staff to locations, taking into account their preferences, was completed on Wednesday. From all accounts the redeployment of staff was not to the scale as first envisaged.

The majority of staff got their first preference. We hope the transition for staff to centres and other locations is as seamless as possible. Members can contact us if they have any issues. We want to make it clear that the redeployment is only whilst we are working through COVID-19. As operations come back online staff will be redeployed back into their original locations.

COVID-19 and casuals

Due to the decrease in operations around the state and fundamentally with CESU locations, casuals have been taken off their TEs at those locations. This had to happen due to the changes in court operations and associated staff reductions and redeployments.

Casuals should now be allocated to centres to work shifts when called. At present there is probably not a lot of shifts going. We understand that this is difficult for many of our casual members.

It is projected that with school holidays, staff having to self-isolate and probable confirmed cases in centres, the need for casuals will increase.

We are writing to CSNSW to see if it has registered with the ATO for staff to possibly claim the Jobkeeper payment.

When we get further clarification on the this we will put it out in a bulletin.

COVID-19 and HR

We have written to HR asking for answers to the following:

  • Sick Leave restrictions – we have requested that during the COVID-19 crisis that reviews on sick leave are ceased due to staff having to self-isolate and staff being concerned about sick leave.
  • Increments – during the period of COVID-19 we have asked that leave for self-isolation not be taken into account.
  • Casual to Permanent – during the period of COVID-19 we have asked that leave for self-isolation not be taken into account.

We are still waiting on a response. We are aware that CSNSW is working on the response so once we get it we will put out the details in a bulletin.

Access to Coles and Woolworths Hour for Emergency Services

Many members have stated they have had trouble in some locations gaining access to this initiative. PSA General Secretary Stewart Little has had communication with Commissioner Peter Severin on the matter.  Mr Severin is working on this for staff to get access across the state.

Mental health

CSNSW is facing a crisis that has never been as great.  Staff have recently gone through many reforms and are now working and trying to manage the crisis in their personal and professional lives.

Members who find that they are not coping or just need someone to talk to please do not hesitate in contacting Welfare Officer Trish O’Brien at trish.obrien@justice.nsw.gov.au or on her mobile listed in the contact details below.

Trish and the Executive will also assist any staff member who is self-isolating and needing groceries or assistance with lawns etc. The family of blue is willing to assist anyone in need. Please do not go through this on your own.

Increments

Many members had issues with their increments and a spreadsheet of affected members was compiled and sent to CSNSW HR. We were set to meet CSNSW for our Consultative this week but due to restrictions on meetings this has now been cancelled.

We will table our issues in writing and get a response back. One of the issues tabled is where the increment issue is up to.

Once we have more information we will communicate it out in a bulletin.

Contact details

Nicole Jess Chairperson
0427 609 199

Jason Charlton Vice Chairperson          
0401 500 976

Amanda Cotter Secretary          
0404 042 600

Thor Sutherland Assistant Secretary      
0447 633 476

Darren King Country Vice Chair 
0407 935 039

Natalie Howes Country Vice Chair
0407 011 441

David McCauley POVB Industrial Officer
0419 022 767

David Bartle POVB Industrial Officer      
0418 425 976

Trish O’Brien Welfare Officer    
0412 120 391

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