The State Executive met with CSNSW for the POVB consultative last week. The following was discussed:
CESU issuing medication
At the delegates conference in December last year, the delegates raised a motion that members wanted to receive a written confirmation from Justice Health regarding their decisions whether staff can issue medication or not.
Justice Health came back and stated it will provide written confirmation within three hours. We did not accept that time frame. CSNSW is waiting for a response from JH, but it looks like it will agree to aim for one hour.
We will continue to deal with this issue and give feedback as it arises.
Monitor room MSPC
We were informed that funding has been approved and work will start soon to get the monitor room up and functioning as agreed in the benchmarking process.
This issue was raised at the delegates conference in December last year. An officer was audited by the Australian Tax Office and required to provide confirmation of the hospital escorts they had claimed.
We are getting correspondence back from CSNSW regarding this matter.
Video footage – Use of force
The POVB Executive has been fighting for members to be able to see the video footage after a use of force. CSNSW is finalising the legal advice on this matter and waiting for sign off by the Commissioner. Procedures will be formulated, and staff will be able to view the footage except in the case of a critical incident, such as death.
Backfilling MOS and FM positions
There has been confusion in some locations as to whether or not a MOS is back filled if they go sick, especially in small centres. If an MOS goes sick in a small centre the position is to be back filled.
The FM positions: FM Purposeful Day, FM Security and FM Accommodation are to be filled every day, including on public holidays. If the FMs go sick or are off, these positions are filled by SCOs who have been assessed as being able to carry out the role.
As per the AC memo, FM Intel and FM Case Management do not need to be filled if off or on public holidays.
Several issues were raised regarding workforce planning as follows:
- A class of recruits who applied for permanency and then when they got to the Academy, were informed they are now casual. CSNSW has requested the names of the members who have stated this, and will investigate the matter.
- John Morony – CSNSW is looking at if it can retain a certain amount of 1/C COs for the centre. We will keep members informed as we become aware.
- Higher Commencing Salary – when changes were made regarding this policy, it was raised by the Executive that there will be staff that have missed out on the higher commencing salary due to not meeting the previous requirements. CSNSW has agreed to backdate the policy to 1 July 2017. It will not mean that staff can claim back pay, though. It will only mean staff will have their rank recognised.
- Casual to permanent – It was discussed that casual members have concerns on how casual staff are being picked to become permanent. CSNSW stated Governors will ask for a list from HR regarding the pool that have applied. CSNSW stated there is a template that Governors must use and CSNSW has agreed to give us this template. When we are given it, we will distribute the details in a communication.
- Communication to Casuals – Casuals have raised with us that they have applied for permanency and have not heard anything. We raised this issue. CSNSW stated it has sent emails to casuals who have applied for permanency and stated it will send out further communication to update them.
Hospital escorts – personal protection equipment
After recent events in Lismore on a hospital escort, we raised that we would like CSNSW to look at Tasers or other equipment that would give staff the opportunity to use other resources other than lethal force.
CSNSW stated it will be looking at a tethering option from the ankle cuffs to the handcuffs. This issue will be raised in the Firearms and Tactical Safety Committee.
Court locations and centres – personal protection equipment
We have requested that SCOs be allowed to carry OC spray on C and B watches. It is recognised by the Executive that there is a large number of incidents happening on C and B watches in large and medium centres with no IAT presence. CSNSW agrees with this. Staff will need to be trained. A memo will be coming out from the Assistant Commissioner on this issue.
Longbay Hospital benchmarking – Medical Escort Unit
Long Bay Hospital benchmarking has been signed off. Members from that centre have requested a meeting to discuss the process moving forward. This is due to the finalisation of the benchmarking process taking longer than other centres. Long Bay will lose several posts that will go to the Medical Escort Unit. A date for a meeting will be organised and a member of the POVB Executive will be present for it.
CSNSW stated the Medical Escort Unit will consist of 45 staff in the beginning doing scheduled escorts in the Metro region. Data is to be collected over a six to nine month period with the hope that CSNSW will be able to get funding for more staff to be able to do scheduled and unscheduled escorts in the Metro and Cessnock area.
Parking fines on hospital escorts
On hospital escort, staff have been fined for parking in spots that have been designated for hospital staff.
If a private company manages the parking fine, CSNSW has stated that as per a Police Commander’s advice, staff do not need to pay the fine.
CSNSW will write to the company advising the above.
If you get fined whilst taking an inmate to hospital, take the fine to your Governor and let the POVB Executive know.
Doctors Certificates via Skype
Members have stated that some centres are not accepting doctor’s certificates from Skype companies such as QOCTOR. CSNSW does accept the certificates and Governors and MOSs will be advised of this again.
Consultation has taken place between CSNSW and the POVB Executive regarding inconsistency with acting up.
A process has been developed for centres and we have written to CESU management to look at developing a process for CESU staff.
CSNSW will write to us re the process for centres and we will continue with the consultation process for CESU locations.
We raised this issue in the discussions with CSNSW when we met to discuss the Goulburn strike matter. We raised it again in this forum, as we had corresponded with members who had been assaulted in February and March – more than 50 staff. We asked them if the assault committee had met regarding the assault and if they were present. Within three days of the emails we received 17 responses back and out of the 17 only two staff stated that the committee had met.
This is unacceptable and CSNSW will revise the COPP and consult further with us on the matter.
For members’ information, the process is in the COPP 21.9 Governance Structures Section 1.3 Health and Safety Committee.
Delegates need to push for this process to be followed in each location when a staff member has been assaulted.
Winter jackets for cold climate centres.
Some members are having trouble ordering cold climate jackets. Members are being told they must hand back the other jacket. This does not need to happen. The cold climate jacket is a one-off purchase. If your centre is having this problem, please contact us and we will sort it.
Section 23s and JH requirements
Some locations are having problems with JH now saying they need to see inmates in a room with a computer, to do assessments on inmates when they have been received into the centre. This is taking up to 20 to 30 minutes per inmate.
CSNSW are not aware of any changes by JH. They will liaise with JH on this matter. The requirement for 23s is that they must be seen by JH within 24hrs. When we have further information on this matter, we will put it out in a bulletin.
Drug testing Officers
Some members may be aware that CSNSW is now using mouth swabs to do drug testing on staff. The use of drug swabs was discussed in a consultation process back in 2004. CSNSW has only recently introduced them rather than staff having to do a urine sample. We raised that we would like to meet for a discussion on the swab testing. The POVB Executive is not against swab testing. It is less invasive, and the process is simple for staff.
If your centre is tested and CSNSW wants to use swab testing our advice is that the staff member can decide what process they wish to use.
We will put more information out when we have it.
Nicole Jess – Chairperson
0427 609 199
Jason Charlton – Vice Chairperson
0401 500 976
Raylene Thompson – Secretary
Thor Sutherland – Assistant Secretary
0447 633 476
Natalie Howes – Country Vice Chair
0407 011 441
Darren King – Country Vice Chair
0407 935 039
David McCauley – POVB Industrial Officer
0419 022 767
David Bartle – POVB Industrial Officer
0418 425 976