The PSA has been in dispute with the Public Service Commission (PSC) in relation to cuts at senior levels in the current restructure. There is a loss of 10 positions, many in senior roles that impact on vital work across the Public Sector. The PSA has expressed concerns about what will happen to the work conducted by the departing roles. We understand more will be expected of other parts of the sector and much-anticipated assistance from the PSC will lesson. We are concerned about how this restructure will negatively impact on the growth and development of employees in more diverse areas.
The PSC is meant to be a model agency for the Public Sector. Its actions influence others. We want it to influence the sector in positive ways. We want it to have appropriate resources in the areas that promote better work practices, strong development and diversity. It has the potential to keep the Public Service operating at an optimal level.
The loss of these positions is a retrograde step.
Back in the IRC
The PSA and the PSC were back in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on 30 September for a report back on our matter.
The PSA advised we had met and exchanged correspondence since the last time we were at the IRC. We had committed to ongoing Joint Consultative Committee meetings, monthly for the next six months and bi-monthly after that. Workloads will be predominant on the agenda for the early meetings but will remain as a standing item in the future also.
The PSA also advised the IRC that we maintain our view that the proposed staffing is too low. Further, that we had requested of the PSC that it retains two more positions in the Diversity and Inclusion area and that the existing circumstance where a Grade 11/12 positon is Aboriginal-identified as opposed to changing to only a targeted position. We explained to the IRC that we still awaited a response to our request.
We also noted that whilst the PSC had advised us last time in the IRC that there was no intent for a second stage to the restructure that would impact on Grade 7/8s and lower (subject to the impact of the November budget), it had not advised staff of this.
In response the PSC advised it would consider our request to maintain two Grade 11/12 positions and have an Aboriginal-identified role at grade 11/12 level. It will respond to us in writing. It will advise staff of the intention to not progress with further restructuring.
We sought to keep this matter before the IRC and a new report back date has been set for the 29 October.
The PSA advised the IRC of the passion PSC staff have for their work. We further reiterated the major role the PSC has in improving practices across the Public Sector and expressed concern about the reputational damage that may occur with the diminution the organisation (most significantly demonstrated by, but not only relating to, diversity and inclusion).
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