PSA News – 28 January 2016
PSA wins reassessment of medical assessments
The PSA has successfully lobbied the Public Service Commission (PSC) to amend its proposed changes to the draft Fitness for Duty guidelines, relating to assessments for non-work related medical conditions and injuries.
Based on the issues the PSA brought to the PSC’s attention, the PSC made some improvements to the draft guidelines, such as:
- more stringent requirements surrounding consultation with an employee prior to determining if a medical assessment is necessary
- mandatory steps that an agency must undertake when making a decision about an employee’s medical retirement
- the obligation on an agency to investigate if alternative duties are available if the employee’s medical advice states that alternative duties are an option.
Read more HERE
Members will be kept updated.
TAFE blows continue
As the Dapto TAFE College prepares to close, the Baird Government’s mishandling of this vital education asset continues.
Skills Minister John Barilaro recently blamed the Labor and Green parties’ campaign for lower enrolments, claiming they were scaring students away.
Massively increased fees, reduced course options and short-staffed facilities were not mentioned by the Minister in his recent interview.
Following a significant media campaign, the Government has frozen TAFE fees for the coming year.
However, they are still up to seven times as much as they were in 2013.
Since 2012, an estimated 83,000 fewer students have enrolled in TAFE NSW campuses.
The PSA continues its fight against the Government’s ideological madness and destruction.
PSA on the front foot in the New Year
See a recent article HERE from General Secretary Anne Gardiner published in the Daily Telegraph about the role PSA members have had in creating cultural change in the union movement.
Not profiting from privatisation
The Land and Property Information (LPI) service, along with its trove of data, is the latest government asset under threat from the Baird Government’s short-sighted privatisation agenda.
The LPI made a significant profit last year; enough to pay for more than 400 teachers or nurses across the state’s schools and hospitals.
You can read the PSA’s media release on the LPI sell-off HERE
Late last year, the NSW Government announced Pillar will be sold off, in a major blow to the economy and community of the Illawarra.
Pillar, which administers 1.1 million superannuation and retirement accounts and has $100 billion in assets, employs more than 700 people; most of whom are located in the Illawarra.
The General Secretary of the PSA and the acting Secretary of Unions NSW recently met with State Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian to highlight the obvious pitfalls in this sell-off.
With Pillar‘s revenue in 2014 in excess of $94 million with a dividend to the Government of 70 percent of after-tax profits, the sale is another short-term, short-sighted move by the NSW Government.
Gittins slams cuts to the public sector
Ross Gittins, Australia’s foremost economics journalist, penned a piece in The Sydney Morning Herald decrying the slashing of the public sector.
Gittins claims regular job cuts to the public service were eroding departments’ “repositories of corporate memory”.
You can read the full story HERE
PSA examines Social Housing policy
On 24 January, the NSW Government released its new Social Housing Policy.
You can view the policy HERE
One of the stated outcomes of the policy is to increase the stock of Social Housing.
When the Minister for Housing Brad Hazzard was interviewed about the new policy he cited the Lend Lease redevelopment of a London Council Estate now known as Elephant Park as an international example of the model the NSW Government would be adopting.
This raises concerns as outlined in the Guardian article that can be viewed HERE
The PSA is consulting with members in FACS to develop its formal response to the Government’s Social Housing Policy.