PSA meets with Legal Aid management regarding COVID-19 measures

COVID-19 and Legal Aid - March 2020 (PDF version)

The PSA today met with Legal Aid management to discuss the agency’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

There have been extensive discussions over the past fortnight focused on the health of members, clients and their families.

The PSA raised numerous issues including:

  • stopping face-to-face legal interviews
  • extending hours for AVL interviews
  • supporting lawyers attending court
  • cleaning of facilities
  • protecting counter staff
  • working from home
  • special leave.

The PSA and management agreed to progress collaboratively. We have agreed to meet twice each week for the next four weeks to discuss measures.

Management advised that it is transitioning away from face-to-face interviews. As of yesterday, no lawyers are to conduct personal interviews in prisons.

Management also advised that the default position, for staff whose duties permit it, is to work from home.

A package of measures to facilitate this is being developed for rapid release.

Management will consider the implications of ceasing all face-to-face contact in counter areas, and report back to our next meeting.

In the meantime, cleaning will be beefed up and measures developed to encourage clients to phone in rather than attending the counter.

Members who experiencing problems or with ideas during this difficult period are encouraged to contact their Delegates to seek union assistance.

Dane Bracewell dane.bracewell@legalaid.nsw.gov.au  

Justin Hutchinson justin.hutchinson@legalaid.nsw.gov.au or 0419 287 985

John Moratelli john.moratelli@legalaid.nsw.gov.au  

Andrew Wright andrew.wright@psa.asn.au or 0408 400146

What can you do?

  • Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online
  • Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.
  • Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.
  • Get involved as a PSA Delegate or Contact: get in touch with your Organiser.

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