Following months of rumours about the possible downsizing of Police Band premises, members were provided with a proposal on 21 June confirming the decision to collapse operations into Unit 4 and undertake considerable demolition works in the upstairs office area of Unit 4.
This proposal was put together without consultation with any of you – the professional musicians actually occupying the space. It was clear from the detailed proposal that a decision had already been made weeks or months ago and that any purported engagement would have little value.
However, members collated a response in an extremely limited timeframe, which was submitted on 26 June 2019. This submission detailed the significant issues caused by the downsizing itself, the inadequacies of the proposal, and alternative proposals for consideration.
The following day, NSW Police advised it was proceeding with all works as planned.
Police Band members had consistently communicated their frustration about the lack of consultation to the PSA and sought assistance in being heard.
In response, last Friday 28 June the PSA notified an urgent dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission in regards to the lack of consultation with Police Band members about downsizing of their premises. The dispute was heard the same day it was notified.
The PSA would like to specifically thank members Gareth Lewis and Nathan Henshaw for appearing at the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) at extremely short notice to ensure the voice of actual Police Band members was properly heard.
The agreed conciliated outcomes of the dispute were as follows:
- The proposed works due to commence Monday 1 July 2019 to proceed in full
- There will be a presumption of acceptance of Flexible Work Applications for a period of three months (1 July 19 to 31 October 19) subject to usual process, policy, risk assessment and health and safety considerations for band members to enable ongoing practice etc.
- The PSA will advise the NSWPF of a suitable date to meet in the next month – the meeting will be attended by Grant Williams, Carlene Mahoney, Workforce Relations and the PSA. The meeting will discuss how best to configure the open plan work space on level 2 of unit 4 (e.g. adding some walls/creating small practice rooms).
- There will be a report back to the NSW IRC on progress on 30 July at 9:30am.
The PSA is hopeful that allowing band members to spend some time working at home will decrease the pressure on the existing space in the short term.
Once members return from the shutdown period, the PSA will set about working through proposals and changes. Members needing assistance with Flexible Work Applications should raise it with Management at first then with delegate Matthew Collins.
Enjoy the break!
Roland Harris, A/Industrial Officer
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