Your PSA industrial staff and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) delegates met with the Executive on 7 September to discuss the following issues raised by the membership:
- This is the 2nd year of stimulus payment due to COVID 19; creating jobs is still a major focus of the Department. 2021 has seen a larger capital program than previous years (e.g. EES, NPWS, Housing); prolonged lockdown has meant treasury is looking at all Departments to provide advice on potential spending programs; however, following lockdown treasury may then look at saving scenarios.
- The new secretary of DPIE is Ms Kiersten Fishburn (former Coordinator General Planning Delivery & Local Government at NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment), who is replacing Jim Betts in October. The PSA hopes to continue our positive working relationship with the Department under this new arrangement.
Covid 19 – Road to Recovery Update
- The main priority is to abide by current health orders. The department is currently risk assessing sections with respect to back to work movements and the road to recovery following the lifting of COVID restrictions.
- Special leave was discussed with many members expressing concerns that they cannot access ‘special leave’ for looking after school-aged children studying at home. This is due to the government not specifically closing schools (i.e. open for essential workers).
- DPIE is investigating the mandating of vaccinations and whether it should apply to all of DPIE or just select staff. At this stage DPIE’s position is no forced vaccinations.
- DPIE is also investigating safe working arrangements for vaccinated and non-vaccinated staff; and ‘rapid antigen’ testing to improve timeframes on COVID testing.
DPIE Systems Integration
- The PMES 2020 survey highlighted five main areas in DPIE that need urgent addressing: Sydney Olympic Park, Crown Lands, Digital Info Office (DIO), Office of Local Government and the Valuer General’s Office. In these agencies there is a high level of discontent; PSA queried whether there is a road map or timeframe and when the integration will be complete.
PSA Noticeboard, Electronic
- The PSA requested access to DPIE Workplace to promote PSA bulletins and other PSA industrial matters. Here is the link to the DPIE PSA workplace site: https://dpiensw.m.workplace.com/groups/874854496455375
DPIE Flexible Working Hours Agreement
- Currently there are multiple flex agreements across DPIE. DPIE is keen to merge a proportion of these agreements into a single agreement. A draft agreement was initially provided by DPIE and circulated to Delegates.
The PSA raised a number of concerns with the initial draft agreement. We will continue to navigate this process and if the department maintains it’s interest in merging the agreements, all members will be given a voice in the matter.
Health Safety Representatives
- Members and delegates are wanting nominations for HSRs in workplaces, as originally agreed in 2019. DPIE asked the PSA to put the request in writing and they will look at the vacant areas. The PSA DC need to actively consult members who may wish to be HSRs. If you are interested in becoming a HSR for your area, please contact your local delegate (details below).
Climate Change and Sustainability Division Restructure
The PSA has been provided a change management plan for a restructure within the Climate Change and Sustainability Division. The PSA seeks information from members regarding this change urgently.
- The New South Wales government has set a target of zero extinctions of native wildlife in the state’s national parks, the first time an Australian government has set the goal – members have requested how the government plans to achieve this. The question has been taken on notice.
- PSA asked DPIE what are they doing with same/similar jobs with different pay scales. DPIE advised that they are happy to look at specific examples. If you have any examples please contact your local delegate.
If you have any questions or concerns related to the above you can contact your local delegate list below:
Environment, Energy and Science
Planning and Assessment
Strategy and Reform
Land and Housing Corporation