You would likely have seen the PSA’s bulletins regarding the NSW Government’s announcement that they were to offer all NSW Government employees a three per cent pay rise. This was to include legislated superannuation increases meaning this offer is closer to 2.5 per cent.
This announcement does not address the memberships concerns for real wages to not go backwards, it does not get rid of the wages cap. To add insult to injury a $3000 ‘thank you’ payment to health workers is being denied to our members. Apparently you do not deserve the same ‘thank you’ when you, and other PSA members, have worked in critical roles during the pandemic to keep this state moving.
As such, PSA Central Council meeting that was held at 5:00pm on Monday, 6 June directs members to continue with the strike, or other form of industrial action that is being taken.
You can see the PSA bulletin here.
Am I on unauthorised Leave if I take part in the strike?
The PSA has become aware that TfNSW has attempted to intimidate their employees by informing them (a) that participation in the PSA’s directive to stop work on 8 June 2022 means you will be considered as on unauthorised leave and (b) if you do not follow a lawful directive you will be considered to be on unauthorised leave.
Whilst, TfNSW has not authorised the leave it is important to note TfNSW cannot take any disciplinary action or victimise you for taking industrial action as directed by your Union. You are not striking in your own name, you are doing so at the direction of the PSA and in the PSA’s name. Any consequences for striking fall on the PSA, not on individuals who strike. You cannot be disciplined for taking industrial action in your union’s name.
If you are participating in the strike as directed by the PSA and there is no option to submit your absence in Equip under Industrial Action the PSA recommends that when attending the strike that you log your absence as Leave Without Pay, with the reason being Industrial Action.
Participating in the Strike
- On Wednesday 8 June, prior to when you would normally commence work advise your manager that you will in accordance with the PSA direction be participating in industrial action.
- In advising your manager you are participating in industrial action you can provide the manager with the PSA’s bulletin.
- Attend the relevant PSA action in your area HERE
- On your return to work the next day you can put your leave in equip as LWOP, with the reason being Industrial Action.
We are also aware that TfNSW in communicating with their employees has attempted to distance this action from the Award negotiations. They have even stated that progress has been made on these discussions, including on how to improve our people’s experience at work. It is important to note that TfNSW has refused claims from the PSA and other unions on the basis they did not believe an Award clause was necessary, these include, but are not limited to claims such as:
- In recognition that unreasonably high workloads can have negative impact on employees where employees are consistently forfeiting hours the employer will proactively manage the hours of work being undertaken.
- A requirement to review the success of restructures.
- A specific clause that requires employees who are affected to be provided priority in recruitment which would mean they are not required to undergo a competitive recruitment process.
- Limitation on use of contractors and labour hire.
- Where an employee has not had access to professional development for a period of more than 18 months the employee can have this reviewed.
- Addressing the forfeiting of hours in the organisation.
For the majority of claims, TfNSW is wishing to address these outside of the Award negotiations.
If you want more information on Award negotiations, you can view the previous PSA bulletins on our website and further information will be sent out soon about our meeting this week.
I am not a member; can I take part in strike action?
As stated above, this action is for members to take part in at the direction of their union. If you are not a member you can still join HERE to be protected for your part in the action. We encourage all members to have discussions with their colleagues around taking part tomorrow. This day of action extends to all parts of our membership with public servants across the state joining the campaign tomorrow to fight for a fair wage rise.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to your organiser Ben James. M: 0438 485 535.