The PSA met with CSNSW on 26 May 2023 regarding the current restructure. Below is a summary of the issues discussed.
CSNSW Roadshow with Assistant Commissioner Galouzis and A/Director Crosbi Knight
The Assistant Commissioner (AC) advised that staff had raised concerns with the timeframes set out by CSNSW pursuant to the restructure. The timeframes have been too tight. In addition, CSNSW advised they needed more time to collate feedback . CSNSW advised that once they collated the feedback from the roadshow, CSNSW will announce a more realistic timeframe.
The new Community SAPO role was also a consistent matter raised with CSNSW during the roadshow. Further clinical supervision and professional supervision for psychologists was another issue staff repeatedly raised across the state. CSNSW acknowledged that more information was needed to clarify and reassure members of supervision arrangements.
PSA letter regarding the Community SAPO role
As outlined in the PSA’s previous bulletin on the restructure HERE there is significant uncertainty regarding the Community SAPO role. As such the PSA wrote to CSNSW outlining key industrial concerns over remuneration and conditions. CSNSW advised that the letter had been received and that CSNSW were drafting a response. In the meantime, CSNSW confirmed that the consultation period is ongoing, and as stated above, timelines are being revised and more information being developed.
Travel and Entitlements – Community SAPO
Travel between locations was raised as an issue for the proposed role. Members have advised the PSA they are concerned they will have to travel between different locations to deliver programs.
CSNSW advised that the Award would apply regarding any travel if a Community SAPO was directed to travel between locations as part of the role. In short, a Community SAPO would have a designated ‘headquarters’ (their home office) for the purpose of assessing entitlements, and potentially travel to other locations. CSNSW did not provide further details, however, they committed to making arrangements practical for members and stated that all travel should be planned prior, rather than be instigated on an ad hoc basis. CSNSW advised they needed undertake further work on the issues in order to provide more specific information.
The PSA raised the issue of the placement process once the new structure had been finalised. The AC advised that there will be a separate meeting for this. The AC advised that CSNSW had been clear with staff by communicating that members don’t have to ‘apply’ as such. Rather the current processes underway are about staff expressing interest in roles, and CSNSW understanding the circumstances of each staff member. The AC advised that CSNSW wants to place people near where they are currently working or where they live.
The AC did however confirm that the placement process will move forward earlier for the service integration manager roles 11/12 so SAPOs have a better idea of what the Community SAPO role will look like if they want to express an interest in the role.
SAPO workshop 30 May 2023
The PSA requested information regarding the expected outcomes of the 30 May workshop for the Community SAPO role. CSNSW advised that the workshop would be to define what community services delivery will be undertaken by the Community SAPO role. The workshop would include the development of a service catalogue and a service delivery proposal, as well as establish the parameters Community SAPOs will operate in. This is so SAPOs understand the breath of the tasks they will be asked to do. CSNSW also stated that in relation to the workshop, they are interested in areas they can innovate in pursuant to these new SAPO roles. For instance, how can SAPOs assist people on community supervision orders?
The outcomes from the workshop will be discussed at the Non Custodial Joint Consultative Meeting to be held on Monday 5 June 2023
NGOs and External Providers
The PSA asked if there will be a change in the relationship between NGOs and external facilitators because of the new structure. CSNSW advised that they have still not met the demands for services and there are many challenges with external facilitators. CSNSW wants to make it easier to engage them, and CSNSW wants to look at their services from the community model perspective. The AC advised that the work of these providers would be supplementary to the work of Community SAPOs and the priority is to provide Community SAPOs work.
Questions from Members Submitted to CSNSW from the PSA
CSNSW advised they were working on providing a response. The PSA has recently sent a revised list of questions as assessed by delegates to ensure all the questions are still relevant at this stage of the restructure.
CSNSW advised that the ‘tab-B’ issue had been resolved since the PSA raised the issue. They acknowledged the distress this caused Psychologists.
CSNSW confirmed that there was no intention to move psychology roles, particularly if the role is filled. CSNSW are considering more Senior Psychologist roles. CSNSW advised that this will result in deletion of some vacant base-grade psychologist roles to fund the role upgrades given the restructure is cost neutral, but there is no intention to delete a role where there is an incumbent occupant.
CSNSW confirmed that work is being done to further delineate the differences between administrative direct reporting, supervision, and professional/clinical governance (under Correctional Practice, Offender Transformation). CSNSW advised that the purpose of the Service Integration roles in custody is not to allocate work, but to provide Psychology teams with the resources and support they need to complete their work. CSNSW advised the priorities of psychologists will be determined by clinical governance from relevant Directorates (e.g. Correctional Practice, Offender Transformation) and clinical supervision.
The PSA asked who will approve increments for Senior Psychologists. CSNSW advised this will be their direct line manager with input from the Senior Psychologists Clinical Supervisor (Chief). CSNSW also advised that requests for detached duties will be managed through a process involving Chief Psychologists.
CSNSW advised that they are looking at where to establish new Senior Psychologist roles in custody and community, especially in places like the MRRC where there are many base-grade psychologist roles. CSNSW advised that they were currently working with the Chief Psychologists to determine where additional Senior Psychologists are needed. CSNSW advised service demand will dictate the placement of roles.
The PSA also asked about psychology service provision where there are no psychologists in a Community Correction’s office (such as Fairfield). CSNSW advised that they are still assessing the demand for services in relation to the locations of psychologists, with the Chief Psychologists.
The PSA then identified there are not enough psychologist roles to meet the service needs across custody and community, and asked if more psychologist roles will be demand funded post-restructure. CSNSW advised that if there is demand, a business case can be completed and submitted, but reiterated this is not part of the current restructure.
CSNSW confirmed that every base-grade psychologist will have a clinical supervisor, however not everyone will have a supervisor on site. The expectation is that the clinical governance and supervision arrangements would oversee this, and direct line management will be there to support supervision. The response appeared to suggest the maintenance of the status quo, where psychologists receive supervision from offsite Senior Psychologists in other locations across the state, despite the intention that psychologists will work in their respective team under the ‘One Team’ principle at their respective locations.
Psychology delegates asked if there was going to be a review to assess the success of the proposed new structure. CSNSW advised that they were are looking at a 6 and 12 month review, especially in relation to the division between line management and clinical supervision.
Community Senior Psychologists
The PSA raised the reporting structure of Community Senior Psychologists. CSNSW confirmed that they would report to an 11/12 Office Manager.
The PSA raised concerns about whether the new direct line managers would adequately understand the professional registration and requirements of Psychologists. CSNSW confirmed that there will be an expectation that a psychologist’s manager understands the industrial requirements for psychologists, the APS code of ethics, and other external requirements for psychologists.
Psychology delegates asked about the psychology budget, in particular whether roles will remain funded under Correctional Practice and Offender Transformation moving forward. CSNSW indicated the roles would remain funded under these directorates. Delegates then asked how new roles could be created, or if roles will be moved to another location post-restructure given roles report within their work environment but are funded by Directorates. CSNSW advised that decisions on new roles or to move roles would require consultation and agreement from both areas. They advised that a role could not be moved post-restructure without agreement between local management (e.g. Governor, Community Office Manager) and the relevant Directorate Director.
Psychology delegates further asked about the psychology budget not being spent and implications this had for demand funding. CSNSW advised service demand will dictate the demand funding and movement of roles, and any movement of roles post-restructure will have to be agreed to between the relevant Director and the location manager.
Specific Needs psychologists
Psychologist delegates raised two matters regarding Specific Needs psychologists, including the MPT and psychologists within Specific Needs having to place “preferences” for roles post-restructure despite no roles being impacted. CSNSW advised that a separate meeting will be organised to discuss these concerns, and CSNSW will coordinate this with the PSA.
CSNSW confirmed 11/12 service integration manager recruitment will occur the week beginning 5 June 2023.
Members are encouraged to contact their delegates regarding the restructure.