It is common knowledge there have been significant concerns with the HR processes that have occurred in regards to:
- Transfer lists
- Casual to permanent
- Permanent classes – whilst we have casuals waiting for permanency
- Higher commencing salary.
These issues were raised and discussed, quite passionately, by the state’s delegates to Commissioner Severin in August.
From those discussions Justice Strategic HR has become involved and we now have a Working Party to look over all issues and to have them simplified to get the best outcomes for all parties.
The Working Party met on 6 September 2018 and it can be confirmed this process will be solution-driven and all our issues have been heard and agreed that processes need to be improved.
The issue we cannot change is that there are classes that have staff recruited for permanency. It was raised that this is causing angst in CSNSW due to casuals who have worked for years on T/Es have been overlooked. Unfortunately, these people have been offered and signed contracts of employment which cannot be terminated. The Executive expressed their disgust with this issue and we will move forward through the Working Party to eliminate this happening again.
More information will come out of future meetings and we will distribute in future Bulletins.
Prison Officers Australasia Association
This Association is a combination of all Prison Officer Unions around Australia and New Zealand. Each state and territory is represented in a Conference each year. This year it was held in Auckland. We toured two centres in the city:
- Purpose built for mental health inmates and our equivalent of Supermax.
- Private prison – Serco, holds Maximum to Minimum inmates, no fences sectioning of the areas. Maximum inmates are held in the confines of the walls of the buildings.
It is a great arena to get ideas and to look at the issues that address us all. The common issues that we are having around the state:
- Rostering issues – Tasmania is on a cyclic roster. They work for six months then must take one month of leave. They cannot take leave where they want
- Rise in assaults on staff – personal protection equipment
- Increase in mental health for staff – NZ have mental health professionals that are employed solely for staff mental health. This issue is seen as important collectively for each state to work together to assist each other and to get assistance to staff. More is to come on this in future Bulletins.
The PSA is also doing a Mental Health Day Conference this October and we encourage members to register their interest in attending. The POVB Executive has also had meetings with CSNSW in regards to staff mental health and their lack of assistance when staff are on disciplinary, workers’ compensation etc.
Delegates to Management, POVB Consultative other meetings
Over the last month we have had the Delegates to Management meeting – delegates across the State attended the POVB Consultative meeting and we had a meeting with Commissioner Severin, Mark Wilson and Kevin Martin to discuss CESU issues.
Issues that were discussed at these meetings are as follows:
- HR – as above
- Firearm recertification – Mark Wilson will make contact with the Manager of Securities of Cessnock centres as that was the area where we raised concerns and he will see which staff need training. The Executive is having ongoing meetings with SOG on this issue and other issues.
- Justice Health – Centres and Court locations are having numerous issues with medication and Justice Health. This issue was raised directly with the Commissioner also and the Executive will be writing directly to him and the Minister regarding these issues and concerns.
- Recognition of prior learning – this seems to be an ongoing issue and we will be seeking a meeting with Brush Farm Academy in the coming weeks.
- Confidentiality of medical certificates – especially in court locations. This will be looked at as the electronic devices such as photocopiers age and are replaced with scanner ability. Mark Wilson did say to cut out the middle staff; a photocopy of the certificate can be sent to the Area Manager by mobile phone.
- Monitor Room Upgrade at Long Bay Control Room.
- Driver fatigue for CESU staff in country locations. This is an ongoing matter that we will continue to raise.
- Parking at hospitals – Managers will be asked to liaise with hospital locations to discuss parking options for staff when escorting inmates to a hospital. It is not acceptable to have to park in a Wilson carpark and escort inmates through such a common communal area.
- On-body camera trial – the Executive will be meeting with CSNSW at the end of this month to discuss the trial and the parameters around the trial.
- OSU – unable to fill vacancies via the computer system for Hospital Escorts on C and B Watches – members are stating that they are not getting the support that they believe the OSU should be giving them on C and B watches to fill vacancies. Some centres have up to four hospital escorts that have to be filled plus continue to manage the centre. We will speak to Director Scholes to see if the OSU can give the service that members are requesting.
- Metal objects – tuna cans – on buy-ups being used as weapons it was discussed that for the centres having the problems the sub-branch can raise it locally and the MOS can request the item be taken off that centre’s buy-up.
- MRRC benchmarking numbers are at present determined to change the reception process for new receptions. The Executive raised that the change needs to be confirmed by CESU as achievable prior to continuing discussions for an extended period of time. This was raised as the Executive does not want the process to fall down or the members of the Benchmarking Committee to continue a process that could be a waste of time if the change is not achievable.
- Amber Laurel and Surry Hills – not having adequate Justice Health services and why when an inmate is screened at these locations they are screened again at MRRC. This was raised directly with the Commissioner and he assured us that he will look into this issue and other JH issues. He also stated that he will look at improving practices for these locations. Discussion was also had on using AVL for screening in these locations to streamline the process in MRRC.
If anything comes of these discussions we will forward the information to members.
Most members would be aware that the MRRC lost a long-serving officer as did the POVB. Boyd Nautu passed away suddenly last week. It is clear that the loss of Boyd will leave a huge hole in the lives of the staff at the MRRC and in CSNSW.
Boyd was always smiling, he was extremely genuine and a caring person who made coming to work a better place for all staff. When you knew that you were working with Boyd you knew that it was going to be a good day. Boyd had an infectious smile that made everyone feel good when it shone.
The PSA and the POVB would like to extend our condolences to his family and work colleagues. He leaves behind two boys. It is at times like this that the arms of the blue circle come around us and we realise we are an extremely big family.
If there is anything that the POVB Executive can do for anyone in this time, please do not hesitate in contacting one of us.
Nicole Jess – Chairperson
0427 609 199
Jason Charlton – Vice Chairperson
0401 500 967
Thor Sutherland – Country Chairperson
0447 633 476
Natalie Howes – Secretary
0407 011 441
Darren King – Assistant Secretary
0407 935 039