PSA meets PoliceLink Director over staffing shortages - Public Service Association

PSA meets PoliceLink Director over staffing shortages

Representatives of the PSA met with PoliceLink Director Kristy Walters to discuss our serious concerns regarding staffing. PSA representatives from both Tuggerah and Lithgow took part in the meeting, together with industrial staff from the union. The tone of the meeting was respectful and positive. While there are not yet any clear outcomes, the Director’s openness and willingness to improve communication is a clear step forward.

The PSA raised the issue that PoliceLink has lost more than 30 staff since the start of the year. We expressed our concern that this exodus would continue and that new staff from upcoming classes would not arrive in time. We drew attention to the particularly serious situation at the Lithgow centre, which is down to below 50 per cent of its capacity.

Director Walters denied that the situation when viewed across both centres is as serious as the PSA believes. She said that she had no concerns about ability to meet service level agreements and that she is taking steps to fill vacancies as they arise. She took on board the concerns of staff at Lithgow and undertook to ensure their voices would be listened to. She assured us that she had read the document produced by Lithgow staff for the recent staffing forum and was prepared to further discuss the issues raised by staff. She drew attention to the importance of the regular meetings with team representatives in discussing staff issues.

The PSA raised concerns about unhelpful statements from some supervisors and managers at Lithgow and asked the Director to ensure that supervisors communicated better with CSRs in future. We asked that the contracts of the remaining temporary firearms-stream staff be extended beyond the end of June, but the Director said she could not do that. The PSA intends to continue to press this issue. The PSA also proposed a targeted recruitment process to fill vacancies in Lithgow. We hope to discuss this further with management.

The Director agreed to our request to meet again in a month. She also stated that she would be happy to receive representations from a union delegate from Lithgow about staff concerns. Management will supply the union with details about upcoming and future planned classes and recruitment.

Despite the Director’s assurances, the PSA remains concerned about staffing levels at PoliceLink, particulary at Lithgow. Over the next few days, members and delegates will provide the PSA with more detailed figures to allow us to make further submissions to Director Walters. Members at Lithgow will shortly choose a delegate, who will make regular representations to the Director on behalf of members.

This meeting shows the importance of having union representation to ensure the voices of staff are heard. If you have colleagues who are not yet members of the PSA, please encourage them to get behind the PSA’s efforts to secure your jobs and careers by joining the union now.

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