POVB bulletin: Roles and responsibilities - Public Service Association

POVB bulletin: Roles and responsibilities

There is currently a dispute with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) regarding roles and responsibilities between Functional Managers and Senior Correctional Officers.

When Benchmarking reform was implemented and CSNSW deleted the rank of the Assistant Superintendent, the POVB was very clear that if it was CSNSW’s intention to push the AS roles down to the SCO level, that rank is to be remunerated.  This is for large and medium centres.  Small centres received extra SCO roles to cover the roles on their establishment.

CSNSW also changed the Operational Procedures Manual to the Custodial Operations Policy and Procedures (COPP).  The COPP contains a section stating who is responsible for the task. The term Authorised Officer was developed in the COPP and that could be from the rank of Governor to a Correctional Officer. Local Operating Procedures were to reflect who the Authorised Officer is in a small, medium and large centre. Court locations and transport had to develop new LOPs as the COPP did not reflect some of the duties for those locations.

CSNSW agreed SCOs would not perform the roles of an AS. CSNSW then developed the ROCI and SOCI. These documents identified the duties of each of the FM Roles and should be on each centre’s M drive along with LOPs and Post Duties.

Functional Managers have been attempting to push their duties down to SCOs and COs following Benchmarking and PBCAP consultation. The COVB agreed to perform the roles identified in the ROCI through the Benchmarking consultation process, however now state they rely on the COPP wherever the Authorised Officer is identified. The COVB’s view is an Authorised Officer is an SCO or below.

The POVB Management Committee carried a motion in November 2022 stating we would not performs the roles of an FM unless a centre has previously made agreements through the benchmarking process to do that specific role.

Centres who have local agreements outside of the ROCI / SOCI include:

  • Bathurst, which was taken to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) as the FMs stated there were too many Risk Intervention Team (RIT) interviews per day for the FM designated to perform that role together with the other roles assigned to that FM. The IRC directed that a stand-alone SCO would perform the role. As a result, Bathurst had an additional SCO placed on its establishment as RIT Post.
  • South Coast CC, previous to Benchmarking, had SCO Reception perform inmate discharges. It continued the process post-Benchmarking consultation.
  • MRRC had two RIT officers one on the A Watch and one on a D Watch to run two RIT teams. Non-custodial and Justice Health could not staff the D watch so to keep the SCO position it was agreed that the position would do the checking officer function.

There should be LOPs to reflect this deviation from the ROCI / SOCI. We have also asked that these local agreements be placed on the Centres Management Plan.

This issue has reached boiling point after a FM at a Centre directed staff to do a task that clearly states in the ROCI it is an FM responsibility.

This matter was then taken to the IRC and it was agreed by all parties, CSNSW, POVB and the COVB that the roles and responsibilities would remain the status quo, as per the ROCI for FM’s until CSNSW met with all parties in consultation.

This means that SCOs and below do not do the following responsibilities, in medium and large centres unless previous agreements/LOPs are in place:

  • Inmate discharges on an A watch
  • Case Management interviews
  • Intel, unless your centre has a SCO intel assist
  • RITs, unless your centre has a stand-alone SCO RIT position
  • Supervisor reports on an A watch
  • Segregation/SMAP paperwork and reviews
  • Checking Officer
  • Threat Assessments on A, C or B Watch
  • Applications
  • Rostering on an A Watch
  • Inmate discipline package; SCO and below does the misconduct only
  • Urinalysis; we take the inmate to the room and supervise the sample being taken.
  • Tablets; we do not issue or assign tablets to inmates. This is classed as new business and we got no new staff for this responsibility.
  • Journal Validations; the SCO can sign that they have checked to see that the Journal is being completed.
  • Targeted staff bag searches; Gate staff will monitor the X-ray machine and question staff and ask to look at an object if it shows up on the X-ray and ask to remove if it is not acceptable for entry, then report it to FM Security. We have a long-standing motion of more than 15 years that we do not do targeted searches on staff in a private room. The SCO Gate is to accompany a FM when this process is taking place and the FM is to conduct the search where staff are asked to empty the contents of their bags and pockets.
  • Section 24 paperwork; On an A watch.

The POVB Executive directs all POVB Members not to complete, if directed the above duties unless your centres has a local agreement that is reflected in your Local Operating Procedures. This in our view reflects the status quo agreement from the IRC matter dated 19th January 2023.

The POVB State Executive will meet with Assistant Commissioner Craig Smith and CSNSW Senior Management on Monday 20 March in relation to Roles and Responsibilities. Our aim is to make the roles and responsibilities clear in every centre in line with the ROCI & SOCI and ensure there are clear LOPs where alternate agreements have already been in place.

We will keep you updated as this matter progresses.

Jason Charlton
POVB Chairperson

Keith Smith
POVB Vice Chair


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