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CSNSW Reforms Consultative Meeting

The Executive met with CSNSW on 25 May 2020 for the Reform Consultative meeting.

We have been meeting fortnightly and last fortnight we requested CSNSW give us the numbers for each centre that have not been presented with their Prison Bed Capacity Reform presentation.

Prior to requesting the numbers, CSNSW was conducting benchmark reviews, filling current vacancies in centres, working on new build P28s and also Prison Bed Capacity reform, which is the reduction of inmates in centres and a reduction in staff.

The Executive was concerned that all these processes were not working independently and not collaboratively, meaning errors could occur.

The recent strike at Cessnock CC is the perfect example of this. All of the different areas had different paperwork or different P28s. Yet, Human Resources was pushing ahead and filling vacancies which could have had ramifications due to the incorrect P28 numbers.

Human Resources has also been liaising with Governors and Managers of Security in centres to fill vacancies and giving them the Workforce Scheduling Plan, which is then presented to the local delegates.

We raised concerns with this for the following reasons:

  • Many centres have not been through the benchmarking review process, nor the Prison Bed Capacity Reform process.
  • Some centres were told to do their benchmark review then immediately after that they would do the prison bed capacity reform process. We believe that substantiating positions in one process then immediately look at deleting positions will create angst for our members.
  • How do the Governors and Managers of Security know that the starting point is correct when we have had the example of incorrect numbers at Cessnock?
  • How do local delegates agree to fill vacancies at their centres when they do not know the effect that the Prison Bed Capacity Reform will have on their current P28?
  • The POVB Executive get the local workforce planning after the local consultation takes place. How do we give correct feedback if we do not know the effect the Prison Bed Capacity Reform will have not only for the centre but the roll-on effect to centres state-wide?

For the above reasons we informed CSNSW that until we have the Prison Bed Capacity Reform numbers for staff, we cannot move forward with filling of vacancies, apart from Wellington which is currently understaffed by a large amount and does not have casuals to fall back on. CSNSW has had to ask casuals from the Metropolitan region to go to Wellington to assist.

CSNSW has stated it will get the numbers to us by the later part of the first week in June.

At the meeting, Human Resources did give us a proposal on how it would like to move forward once we get the numbers.

This proposal actually addresses one of the above dot points and, moving forward, any centre that has not been presented with its Prison Bed Capacity Reform proposal will not have its Workforce Scheduling Plan presented to it until it has been presented to the Executive in the first instance.

Another part of the proposal is that many casuals who missed out on gaining access to the talent pool for casual to permanent in the EOI from February 2019 due to poor referee checks, have now been placed in the talent pool.

This was for the following reasons:

  • The two referee names provided by the members were never contacted.
  • The referee checks stated they lacked certain skills but the member had never been informed by any manager of any issues relating to their work performance.
  • Even after adverse referee checks, members were able to remain on a temporary appointment ongoing and were never told, after the poor referee checks, where they had lacked any skills or where they had poor work performance.

The process moving forward is that when the talent pools are to be used, any member who was not successful in the first process will have the checks conducted again and if suitable they will be offered a job.

We raised with Human Resources that we would hope that this process would not have the same results for staff who have never been spoken to by management regarding their work performance. We will be asking for certain checks and balances to be put into place for this process to ensure it does not happen again.

As stated above, Wellington will have some of its vacancies filled. It previously had only three in the talent pool but, due to the admission of staff that were unsuccessful in the first referee checks, there are now 10 staff in the talent pool. The seven staff will need to have their referee checks completed successfully as above. Wellington will still have a considerable amount of vacancies left to fill after the original talent pool has been used and finalised.

Human Resources has stated in the proposal that it will be putting out another EOI for casual to permanent in June 2020. This will create talent pools for individual centres for 2020-2021. It will be clear in the EOI that these talent pools will not be utilised until talent pools for 2019-2020 have been finalised or when the talent pools expire in November 2020.

In the proposal CSNSW has stated there are at least 200 positions state-wide for casuals to fill ongoing (permanent). In the proposal it states that there is in total 130 casuals in the 2019-2020 talent pools and on average each have preferences for two to three locations.

We want to make it clear we are not stopping the Human Resources process of filling positions totally. We understand casuals want permanency. We understand members on a talent pool for promotion to SCO want to be promoted and we want that, too.

There is still the placement of some staff that have been affected by centre closures or restructures so that has to be taken into account.

We are asking to have all the information to make an informed decision when it comes time to making the right decision for the filling of vacancies for all members and for the collective interests of the state.

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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