PSA fights to stop Multicultural NSW stripping pay and conditions from Interpreters and Translators - Public Service Association

PSA fights to stop Multicultural NSW stripping pay and conditions from Interpreters and Translators

Fight - Nov 2020 (PDF version)

Despite many objections raised by affected workers and by your union, the PSA, Multicultural NSW (MCNSW) has filed an application in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), intending to replace the current Crown Employees Interpreters and Translators Award 2019 with a rewritten award. The new award severely reduces the pay and conditions of Interpreters and Translators.

The award application is not by consent and the PSA will contest the reduction of pay and conditions in the IRC.

Why the PSA cannot support MCNSW’s proposed new Award

The PSA cannot support halving the pay of essential public sector workers, particularly ones already in casual, insecure employment, in the midst of the worst pandemic in 100 years. The pay cut is also contrary to the NSW government’s position in the public sector pay case, which was to seek a zero per cent increase for one year (not a pay reduction). While the 0.3 per cent pay rise the IRC awarded in the public sector salaries case was a miniscule increase, it certainly beats a severe pay cut. 

The PSA cannot support stripping long-held, hard-fought employment conditions from MCNSW Interpreters and Translators. Your professional services are relied upon by diverse communities across NSW for access to justice and health services.   

The PSA cannot enable one public sector employer, which exists to provide essential services to the public, to cheapen the cost of the services it provides to other public sector agencies, such as the Courts and Police, by cutting the pay of those who deliver these essential services.

MCNSW’s proposal is non-compliant with Crown employment salaries and conditions standards and public sector norms. It is also contrary to NSW government values – promoting diversity and access for all communities to the public services they need. The core responsibility of government to ensure professional high-quality public service delivery is only maintained by appropriate remuneration to a skilled workforce.

Your Crown Employees Multicultural Interpreters and Translators Award 2019 is not outdated

Like all Crown awards, it is subject to regular review under s19 of the Industrial Relations Act. The s19 review of this award was in March last year. MCNSW argues that your award does not represent a market-driven business model and that MCNSW language services will only be maintained if they’re “commercially viable”. To that the PSA responds, the public service is not “a business”, it is an organisation funded by the public, to serve the public. We must take a stand to maintain quality public services in public hands.

The PSA is the largest public sector union in NSW with more than 120 years’ experience fighting for public sector workers to be valued and remunerated properly for the essential work they do. We are proud of what we have achieved in pay and conditions, entitlements and workers’ rights. Crown awards across the public sector deliver certainty to workers and hold government sector employers to account, to maintain the high standards we’ve achieved.

Roadshow feedback

During discussions with MCNSW, the PSA recommended it run a Roadshow to inform affected workers of their intention to reduce pay and conditions for Interpreters and Translators; and to seek feedback.

We hope you attended the Roadshow we attended and heard the many concerns and objections raised by workers. Unfortunately, the concerns raised by both affected employees and the PSA have not been incorporated in the MCNSW draft award. Despite widespread employee rejection and detailed PSA feedback concerning non-compliance with public sector standards, MCNSW is pushing ahead with these drastic changes.   

PSA members can be assured we will continue to fight for our members’ rights and entitlements, pay and conditions at MCNSW.

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback concerning this matter – please contact PSA staff and/or your PSA workplace delegates.

Our next members’ meeting is scheduled for mid-November. A meeting notice will be sent to confirm details.

PSA staff

Organiser Sharon Richards
Industrial Officer Katy Ambler

Contact or the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

Act now and help the PSA fight for you!

The PSA is working hard to protect our members’ hard won conditions but we need you to help us do it. You can support the work of the PSA just by encouraging your colleagues to join. Please share information about the PSA and what we are doing for Interpreters and Translators with your networks. 

It’s easy to join online , share THIS LINK with your Interpreter and Translator colleagues.

You can also read about our Member Benefits to see what additional services and discounts you get through your membership.

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