The PSA has authorised the following Work Ban to apply to Building Inspectors within NSW Fair Trading from 24 February 2021 until further notice:
‘Until further notice, the PSA directs Building Inspectors not to use sound recording devices for site inspections.’
Members have raised concerns with a direction that has been given with respect to sound recording of meetings which was to come into effect from 14 January 2021.
To date, the PSA has repeatedly contacted the Department but as yet have been unable to get any meaningful information as to this direction.
Please note that there has been no consultation with the PSA prior to this direction being made to staff.
Until such time that the PSA and your Delegates have met with the Department and the issues surrounding this, such as your legal coverage to record meetings, risk assessment and training as to engaging with the public and other issues has been raised the PSA is placing a Work Ban on this direction.
How do I follow the Work Ban?
The Work Ban is an authorised direction supported by your union. This means you are protected by the Industrial Relations Act 1996 and any action against you by your employer for following the ban is victimization. The PSA will take immediate action in the Industrial Relations Commission to protect you.
Members are required to simply inform their supervisor/manager that until otherwise directed by the PSA they are not complying with the direction to record site inspections.
What happens next?
The PSA has notified the Department of the work ban and has requested the Department to retract the current direction until such time as:
- A WHS Risk Assessment is provided
- Legal issues are explored
- Consultation processes including timeframes are discussed.
The PSA is not necessarily opposed to Building Inspectors having to use sound recording devices if it is proven to be an effective safety measure for our members. For example, the PSA has been involved in a lengthy consultation process with SafeWork NSW Inspectors for the introduction of body worn cameras and is supported by members.
The important issue here is ‘consultation’, while the intention of this direction may be well intended the lack of consultation and appropriate consideration of both legal and WHS considerations potentially puts you at risk.
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Support the work of the PSA and delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN their union, you can join at psa.asn.au.
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