PSA CPSU NSW: Winning for members - Public Service Association

PSA CPSU NSW: Winning for members

Let me start by saying that it has been a long, eventful year. However, it has been one in which our union has won major achievements for our members all over NSW. This year we all once again showed that by working together, we have made our workplaces better for all.

The year proved to us all that there is power in a union.

The newly elected State Government has listened to the Public Service Association (PSA) and announced that Junee Correctional Centre will be in public hands from March 2025. The prison, originally built as a private gaol, will now have better staff-to-inmate ratios, better paid Officers and staff will have better opportunities for career development with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW). The decision has been welcomed by organsations such as the Aboriginal Legal Service, which criticised the current operator, GEO, after a recent death in custody. After years of campaigning by your union for an end to the farcical prison-for-profits system, this is welcome news. Our No Prison for Profit campaign will continue until all correctional facilities are in public hands.

School Psychologists will receive a pay increase the same size as School Counsellors thanks to action by the PSA CPSU NSW. The new Award will provide School Psychologists with a significant pay rise, salary certainty and ongoing salary parity with School Counsellors.

Pressure from the PSA CPSU NSW and other public sector unions has seen the State Government return the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to its role at the centre of workplace law in NSW. The IRC was stripped of much of its powers by the previous Liberal National Coalition Government, which then artificially deflated wages.

Court Officers working within the Office of the Sheriff will transition from a Clerk General Scale to a Clerk 1/2 from January 2024. This will result in pay rises of approximately $3,688, with yearly increments every January.

A member in Service NSW was successful in negotiating special leave when she was sent home due to testing POSITIVE to COVID. Originally, her Team Leader said special leave was no longer available. However, when she phoned the PSA she was advised the circular was still active and she thus raised this with her Manager. The decision was changed and she received her leave.

The IRC has agreed PSA CPSU NSW members in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) were overworked. The Commission found that members employed by the ODPP were sacrificing hundreds of hours in flex time to keep up with workloads, with a new Award taking this into account.

After years of campaigning by your union, the maintenance of public housing in NSW has been returned to Housing NSW.

The PSA CPSU NSW welcome recent announcement that the Powerhouse Museum will retain its role as a Museum of Applied Arts and Science. For years, your union has campaigned ferociously against the planned closure of the facility and subsequent plans to turn it into a centre focused more on fashion and events.

The ambitious Temporary Workforce Transition project, which sees staff given permanent roles in schools, has now seen about 8000 people given more secure work. The policy is the result of years of campaigning by the PSA CPSU NSW on behalf of a workforce traditionally dominated by insecure roles.

A former General Assistant contacted the Department of Education about unpaid uniform allowance, only to be told he wasn’t eligible. After a quick call to the PSA CPSU NSW Member Support Centre (MSC) he had the necessary information to query the decision. The member was then paid the allowance owing.

After their union made representations to their employer on their behalf, 24 Transport for NSW members were awarded permanent full-time employment.

A Prison Officer who shot an escaping inmate was found not guilty in a court of law. The Officer, known as Officer A, faced a murder charge after shooting at a prisoner who escaped custody during a hospital visit. The Officer faced two trials, as the first case resulted in a hung jury. The judge at his second trial said not only was Officer A not guilty of murder, he was actually required to fire at the escapee to protect the community. The decision means Prison Officers can do their job comfortable in the knowledge they will not face criminal charges afterwards if they are required to use force or discharge firearms. The Officer received legal representation from the PSA and the Prison Officers Vocational Branch Legal Fund. Throughout both trials, fellow Prison Officers sat through proceedings to offer support to their colleague.

Awards for Transport for NSW members were varied in the Industrial Relations Commission. The Awards included a pay increase and improved parental leave provisions.

School Learning Support Officers (SLSOs) in a Sydney school were delighted to learn they had gained permanent positions, only to discover their hours were to be cut and they were to work out among themselves what hours each staff member would receive. The PSA CPSU NSW got involved and the moves were stopped.

Following a request from the PSA, CSNSW agreed Non-Custodial staff at prisons who are union members will be allowed to meet monthly for one hour during work time and will be paid if on duty at this time.

Pressure from the PSA CPSU NSW means that Transport for NSW contractors can no longer used branded vehicles.

After union pressure, TAFE will not relocate Early Childhood Education and Care from the Petersham campus.

I wish all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous 2025 and thank you for all you do for the people of NSW. Particular mention goes out to those working through the holiday break to keep our state running.

Yours in Union,
Nicole Jess
Public Service Association of NSW

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