POVB bulletin December 2019

POVB Bulletin - 12 December 2019 (PDF version)

Centre closures and repurposing

All affected centres have had meetings and been informed the dates that they will be closed or repurposed. Those dates are as follows:

Grafton Correctional Centre closed
5 August, 2020

Berrima Correctional Centre closed
2 April, 2020

Illawarra Reintegration Centre closed
19 March, 2020

Brewarrina Correctional Centre closed
15 July, 2020

Ivanhoe Correctional Centre closed
12 August, 2020

Emu Plains Correctional Centre repurposed
29 October, 2020

Kariong Correctional Centre repurposed
30 September, 2020

At the meeting for Grafton we raised concerns that HR had put out an expression of interest for transfers to multiple court locations. This caused extreme angst from the staff at centres which are being closed or repurposed, as they should get first option. Expressions of interest like this confuse the situation and creates further disharmony around the state. A new expression of interest has been put out by CSNSW, with bold lettering stating that centres being closed or repurposed will get first option.

We also raised that staff at Grafton have applied for jobs with Serco and completed the interview and medical process, yet have heard nothing. It seems to us that Serco does not want to employ staff who are experienced and have a wealth of knowledge. Again, the staff are being let down. We will be making representation to the Minister to discuss this matter in the New Year.

Each centre that is closing will form a Decommissioning Committee that will formulate a decommissioning plan. When the delegates receive this plan we ask that they be forwarded to the Executive please.

Cameras in office spaces in new build centres

New build centres have cameras in staff office spaces. This is not something that has been consulted with the State Executive and is not common practice. The State Executive believes we speak for all members in saying that we are vehemently opposed to having cameras in our office spaces.

Management of CSNSW has previously proven that it uses cameras to spy on staff for performance issues, which is outside of the Surveillance Act. We have had to raise matters from individual centres in reference to cameras in control rooms, gate houses and perimeters. Cameras are there for the protection of staff and inmates, not to be used to monitor our performance or to keep surveillance on us 24 hours a day, such as how long someone takes on toilet breaks or lunch breaks.

We are writing to CSNSW asking for a meeting ASAP regarding this matter. At this stage we have no knowledge of what communication has taken place between CSNSW and Governors on the use of these cameras.

We have a lack of camera cells around the state, yet there is money to spend putting cameras in office spaces.

Human resources

In good faith, we consulted with CSNSW to have casuals made permanent at Long Bay MSPC 1-3. It was our understanding that CSNSW would use the talent pool that was completed in February 2019.

We had met with CSNSW HR in March and we were informed it would be using the talent pool to fill positions moving forward.

We were contacted last week by multiple casuals around the state asking why some of the positions were filled by staff who have only just come out of the Academy after June 2019 who would not have been able to apply for permanency yet.

The State Executive is extremely disappointed with the miscommunication and the inconsistent approach HR are taking in all aspects around the state.

The above issue has caused confusion and dissatisfaction with CSNSW amongst the long term casuals who are still waiting on permanency.

The Executive has emailed Chief of Staff, Gayle Robson with our dissatisfaction and have asked for answers on how this could occur. CSNSW have been advised that the PSA want one consistent and transparent approach across the state.

Once we get the response we may take it to the Industrial Relations Commission depending on what is stated.

We will keep members informed.

Work force scheduling

We had a meeting in regards to several issues with the new WFS program.

There was a concern at MRRC, which has a large staffing profile, that it only has two screens and the screens are in a small room. This creates limited opportunity to see the roster for the four projected days. We have been able to get the daily roster printed until more screens can be put up. If your centre has the same issue, request the same process.

CSNSW advised us that the program it has developed to allow access to the roster and shift swaps at home has not been as successful as previously spruiked in cyclic rostering meetings around the state.

In the New Year, CSNSW staff will be able to access their monthly and four-day projected roster remotely but they will not be able to do shift swaps or put in leave paperwork.

We expressed our dissatisfaction with CSNSW promising the world and only producing a very small amount of what was promised. CSNSW stated it was due to the fact there are too many issues at present with the system regarding shift swaps and leave, so it did not want to put out a program that would not work properly. CSNSW stated these features would be implemented later in 2020.

We have expressed further concerns that the current staffing profile of the staff working on the program is going to be reduced, which means the chances of these problems being resolved is less likely.

The PSA will look at this issue closely in the New Year and we will provide more information in the New Year through ongoing bulletins.

We discussed the 10 per cent leave ratio and have requested that it be for recreation leave only. The Executive wrote to CSNSW asking for the 10 per cent ratio be lifted to at least 12 per cent, as staff were not able to take leave because the 10 per cent included other leave such as extended leave, detached duties, and maternity leave.

There was positive discussion around this matter and we hope to hear something in the New Year.

Once we know more we will put it out in a bulletin.

Industrial action

When communicating with Mrs Robson we have made it very clear that members around the state are feeling very disgruntled, disillusioned and want to take industrial action. I have explained the many reasons:

When communicating with Mrs Robson we have made it very clear that members around the state are feeling very disgruntled, disillusioned and want to take industrial action.  I have explained the many reasons:

  • Closures and repurposing
    • HR issues:
      • Grafton staff who have applied for jobs at Serco not being told if they have a job;
      • Uprooting their families and not knowing where they are being placed; and
      • Lack of faith in the HR process
    • Lack of trust with when and how voluntary redundancies will be offered.
    • Still no confirmation of CESU Grafton’s new roles.
  • WFS – lack of what was promised to staff, lack of training for SCOs in court locations.
  • Cameras in office spaces – staff feeling like they are under the microscope.
  • Casuals to permanent:
    • Long term casuals wanting permanency now waiting for the placement of permanent staff
    • Inconsistency with HR processes
    • Feeling undervalued and supported
  • Increments – taking too long for payments.
  • IATs under the microscope with uses of force.
  • Acting up:
    • Not done properly around the state in centres; and
    • In court locations a lack of acting up as there is less opportunity.
  • Assaults on staff are on the increase, our inadequate worker’s compensation and the fact that assault committees are still not being conducted after an assault or being done incorrectly.
  • Still not having numbers for staffing confirmed for the New Builds at Cessnock, South Coast, Bathurst, Mid North Coast and Dillwynia.

These are just some of the issues that are troubling our members and CSNSW has been notified that members are wanting some sort of action if these issues are not addressed

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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