On 8 April 2019, representatives of the PSA met with representatives of NSW Police Force Security Management Unit to discuss the review of the Role Description for Special Constables. The result was disappointing. However, in subsequent discussions, management has agreed to further consider its position and respond in writing by 10 May 2019. The PSA remains optimistic that the process will still permit a successful claim for a regrade of the positions.
As advised in a previous Bulletin (see HERE), an agreement had already been reached on the wording of a new Role Description with the exception of the Capability Levels. The Role Description now contains references to law enforcement powers, which had previously been omitted.
With respect to Capability Levels, the current Role Description rates them all as “foundational”, which is the lowest, level. The PSA has made a detailed written submission, arguing that the levels of 5 capabilities should be raised from “foundational” to “intermediate”:- Display Resilience and Courage; Act with Integrity; Communicate Effectively; Demonstrate Accountability; and Technology. Under our proposal, the remaining 11 levels would remain at “foundational”.
The Commander of the SMU did not provide any written response to our submission, but stated that he did not agree that any of the Capability Levels should be rated as “intermediate”. This is hard to accept, as the Role Description for Sheriff’s Officers, a comparable position, has 2 intermediate Capability Levels. In the PSA’s view, the Commander has reached his conclusion on the basis of a very restricted interpretation of the Capability Framework rules.
The Capability Framework is based around administrative and clerical capabilities and it is very difficult to apply it to operational security roles. The PSA argued that the Capability Framework rules should be interpreted freely so as to be fit for purpose for assessing the level of capabilities required in the role. The Commander has agreed to provide a detailed response explaining how they have applied the Capability Framework by 10 May 2019. The PSA will carefully scrutinise the response before deciding how to proceed with our claim.
Members can rest assured that their PSA representatives will continue to vigorously pursue our claim for a Role Description and a pay scale which properly values the job of Special Constables.
If you require any further advice or assistance on this matter, or to organise a PSA meeting in your workplace, do not hesitate to contact:
Andrew Wright – Industrial Officer
Roland Harris – Organiser