Powerhouse Museum dispute update - Public Service Association

Powerhouse Museum dispute update

Following our dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission last week relating to the current restructuring in the Powerhouse Museum, we met with management on Monday 19 December 2022.

Prior to the meeting we were provided with several curator Role Descriptions which were also given to the appropriate employees along with the draft Role Descriptions for the new Director positions.

In the meeting we raised and discussed the following key items:

  • That in our view the processes of communication so far have been confusing and not met our expectations on what consultation should be. In response the CEO advised that they had been speaking with staff (particularly the curators).
  • That the curators have significant concerns about their roles being spread over the two Directorates (and the view that they will be deskilled). The CEO stated there would be linkage and crossover between the directorates. However, the PSA believes that this requires further exploration and definition.
  • That we felt the title Curator did not fit the Program staff and that this confused the roles.
  • That the Curator role came under a specific industrial agreement with a defined pay scale and salary progressions, as well as specific qualifications. We expressed uncertainty as to whether there were intended changes to Program staff pay scales and qualifications needs.
  • That the majority of Curators had expressed their opposition to moving to Castle Hill: we were advised that some would move to Parramatta next year. We have requested that further discussion occur with consideration to some working from Ultimo to be considered.
  • That staff in Learning feel their role, and Education, has been undervalued and disregarded.
  • That there is a strong need for working parties in many areas where the CEO should be able to provide a clear explanation of what is intended and, more importantly, enable and listen to feedback from employees. The CEO was agreeable to this.

It is the strong view of the PSA that any unit or branch that requires further clarity or wants to raise concerns and engage in meetings/working parties as a unit with the CEO and express their views should be able to do so.

The PSA is happy to provide collective views to management as well but have strongly advocated for the voices of employees to be heard directly by the CEO.

The PSA can, if you wish, advise the CEO of any particular group that seeks such a meeting. We recommend they occur in January noting their intention to advertise the Director of Programs in the middle of February: no earlier than 13 February.

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