POVB bulletin – Consultative

Consultative - Feb 2020 (PDF version)

The POVB Executive met with CSNSW management two weeks ago where the following issues were raised and discussed:

Assault Committee It was raised that the Assault Committee is not being conducted properly around the State. Some centres are meeting once a month not five days after each assault as it states in the COPP. We also raised that we have concerns that the COPP states the Committee meets only where an injury has occurred. Management in some centres are interpreting this as a physical injury. We are concerned that in some centres the Committee is not meeting when an officer has been spat on. The officer is not always present or on the phone for the meetings which negates why the Assault Committee was developed.

Amanda Cotter contacts every member who has been assaulted. If members could respond it would be appreciated as the information is being collated for our case regarding our inferior workers’ compensation.

We will continue to raise the Assault Committee issue in this forum until the process is implemented correctly in all locations.

Cultural Survey Presentation CSNSW is working on cultural change in the workplace. It is working with CRES and a survey is going to be put out to staff and inmates to get a baseline on what may be required to bring change.

We raised that at present with all that is occurring in the workplace, such as closures and prison bed capacity reform, the survey would be inflammatory especially having inmates do a survey on staff.

The survey has been presented to the Executive and we will give feedback to CSNSW on this.

HR process for centres closing Informed that HR have been present at all centres that are closing. Ivanhoe and Brewarrina have had HR contact via AVL or phone hook-up. Staff have been given their letter of offer for placement within CSNSW.

We will continue to work with individuals and CSNSW on getting the best results for affected staff. Discussions have taken place to get VR swaps happening in locations where we know there is a demand.

CSNSW informed us that 50 per cent of staff got their first preference, in some centres that is 60 per cent. CSNSW is at step one. They will then look the acceptances that come in from staff and go to step two.

Centres being repurposed We were informed Kariong and Emu Plains have had people walk through to access infrastructure. Reports have been completed and been sent to the Commissioner for approval and it is envisaged that consultation will take place in March.

Section 33 trial The trials will continue. The amount CSNSW spends on transferring inmates to mental health facilities, from Correctional Centres, is comparable to what the Police would spend. CSNSW will be having discussions with Police in regards to the ongoing funding.

The Newcastle Trial is considerably larger in expense and CSNSW will be stating that its advice is that it does not continue and that has gone to the contestability advisory board. This will mean that there may be changes or it will cease. CSNSW cannot just pull out of the current trial so there will be more information at a later date on this matter.

CESU issues

  • Further training on Section 33 and what each order means. CSNSW to address.
  • One out court locations – still have several court locations on the C and B watch that are working one out. The proposal was not approved for funding to fix this. The Executive raised the concern of the changes to the MOU that we have with the Police on this matter. The Police are not always present to assist staff and they are limited in what they can do. Assistant Commissioner Sue Wilson will have further discussion with the Executive on this matter.
  • We do not have a management plan or a P28 for Tweed Heads Court.

Mr Osland was not present for the meeting so our issues could not be addressed. Assistant Commissioner Wilson will organise a further meeting outside of the Consultative. Once we have more information from a meeting we will put out a bulletin.

MyPerformance CSNSW is not going to roll out “Success Factors” – there will be three pilot sites, MSPC, Mary Wade and John Moroney. It will start at the top of the centre structures and work down. It will look at who is sitting in roles and their responsibilities and look at any feedback. CSNSW will organise to meet with the Executive on how it will be rolled out across the state.

Use of Force report writing The Executive would like to see an increase in training for members on report writing due to the amount of staff that are being disciplined for information lacking in their reports. CSNSW will look at this and gauge if there is a decrease now that the new Use of Force Committee is running.

RITs There is a push by COVB to not have FMs do RITs in centres. There are only two centres that have a stand-alone RIT SCO and that is MRRC and SWCC. CSNSW would like to have a meeting to discuss this matter. It was made clear that SCOs would do the role if there is a position for that role only. We do not accept that an SCO RIT officer is to also look after clinic areas in centres.

Clinic areas We raised that we have concerns that clinic areas in many centres are turning into mini ACMUs and mental health wings. These locations have not been staffed appropriately to manage many of the inmates housed in the locations and the resources are also limited. CSNSW will meet to discuss this at the same time as discussing the RITs.

Increments It was raised that we have members waiting too long for their increments to be completed. A bulletin did go out on this matter to the membership. A list of all staff who are affected by this has been compiled and will be given to CSNSW at the end of this week.

Acting up SCOs under the Award are required to act up, unlike First Class Correctional Officers who can choose not to act in higher capacity. It has been raised by many centres that the acting up is not being carried out equitably. CSNSW put a proposal to the POVB which was presented to the Delegates to Management meeting in December 2019. It was opposed by the POVB as CSNSW want vacancies longer than 1 month, deemed as a long-term vacancy and filled by temporary appointment. The POVB advocated for three months but would compromise with two months. This matter has been deferred to Assistant Commissioner Corcoran for a decision.

Public Service Holiday Members have not been paid this day or if they have it was not at the public holiday rate.

The POVB is waiting for a response from CSNSW and to have all members paid correctly.

PBCAP process CSNSW has commenced PBCAP presentations in several centres across the State. It was raised that there is no consistency with those presentations. Numbers presented have been different. They have not shown staff impacts i.e., Kirkconnell, how decisions were made i.e., is it based on IFN or 70/30 or is it a combination? Under benchmarking it went back to a starting point of 2016 but for Bathurst the process has gone back to 2013. CSNSW is proposing to reduce bed numbers but no cells will be de-commissioned in the process.

We raised our concerns with the rise in staff assaults and yet we are cutting staff. Some centres have not had their 12-month benchmarking review yet there is going to be staff cuts.

It was raised again that the impact of cyclic rosters, MyPerformance and benchmarking is having on staff. Also the rise in staff assaults, the impact that a reduction of staff has had in the workplace especially on the A and C watch or L and N watches. The change in the inmate behaviours and culture, such as an increase in mental health. It was suggested that coming in now and saying that CSNSW is reducing staff even more is putting staff under duress and the process should be slowed down.

CSNSW is going to discuss the issues internally and come back to us on how they will move forward but at the time of the meeting further presentations have been cancelled.

Once there is more information on this matter a bulletin will be put out to members.

Goulburn The POVB Executive would like to also take the time to send our deepest condolences to the family and all staff at Goulburn Correctional Centre and to any staff member that worked with Officers Jamie Buck and Chris Lycho. To lose one of our family members is upsetting but to lose two so close together is heartbreaking.

The Executive want to let the whole of Goulburn staff know that the family of blue is behind you and thinking of you at this time.

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


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