PSA News - 31 January 2014 - Public Service Association

PSA News – 31 January 2014

PSA Member Support Centre 1300 772 679

The PSA’s Member Support Centre (MSC), the union’s call facility, goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

It is your direct line to the PSA in an emergency or if you just require advice and support on a work related matter.

The MSC will ensure all phone calls to the PSA are promptly dealt with.

Remember: it goes live on Monday, 3 March, 2014.

Huge response to PSA pregnancy survey

The PSA has made a submission to the Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review after surveying women members regarding their experiences.

The response to the survey was overwhelming with more than 1000 taking part despite it being circulated in the lead up to Christmas.

  • 77% indicated they had missed out on an opportunity for promotion while pregnant
  • 71% indicated they had missed out on training or developmental opportunities while pregnant
  • 79% indicated they had been subjected to inappropriate comments by supervisors while pregnant

The other most common problem raised was difficulty accessing flexible working arrangements after returning from leave.

Stage one of Government attack on 2.5% fails

Stage one of the O’Farrell Government’s twin pronged attack on the decision of the Industrial Relations Commission to grant the full 2.5% wage rise has failed.

The Government’s application for a stay (or suspension) of Justice Boland’s decision was heard by the Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission on 30 January 2014.

The move was rebuffed by the Commission until the second element of the Government’s strategy – a judicial review of the decision – is determined in the Court of Appeal.

On 17 December 2013, Justice Boland, President of the Industrial Relations Commission, ruled in favour of the PSA that the full 2.5% available under the Government’s wages policy be paid to members employed under the Public Sector Salaries and related awards.

The 0.23% increase was to take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2013.

However, the O’Farrell Government is once again not prepared to accept the independent umpire’s decision.

Accordingly, and in a further attempt to undermine the Commission, the NSW Government:

  1. Re-published an amended Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2011 directing the Commission to include superannuation in the 2.5% increase thereby cutting the available wage rise. A similar Regulation was disallowed by NSW Parliament in September 2013;
  2. Filed an appeal in the Industrial Relations Commission to have Justice Boland’s decision and orders quashed; and
  3. Lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW seeking to have the Commission’s decisions and orders quashed.

If the matter before the Court of Appeal fails then the Government will rely on its redrafted Regulation, subject to it again not being disallowed by Parliament, to enforce the previously paid 2.27% wage increase.

The application for judicial review of the decision will be heard in the NSW Court of Appeal on 3 February 2014.

Schools – Learning Management Business Reform (LMBR) update

On 20 December 2013, the Department lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission in relation to PSA work bans on LMBR which were to be introduced from day one, term 1, 2014.

At the hearing, the PSA raised members’ concerns around lack of training and support, work overload, stress, time frames associated with the rollout and Departmental communications.

The Commission was sympathetic with the concerns of members and acknowledged that the matter must have deteriorated, as the PSA is not known as a union which imposes work bans lightly.

However, the PSA was directed to lift the proposed bans.

The Department then released a plan of support for the 229 LMBR focus schools in the belief it would address the concerns raised.

The plan was issued without prior consultation with the PSA.

The Department offered SAS Staff in the 229 schools the opportunity to volunteer to work in the final two weeks of the holidays with additional training and support.

PSA members who chose to volunteer would be paid at the appropriate long term temporary rate, funded by the Department not the school.

The PSA also obtained assurances from the Department that SAS Staff who chose not to volunteer would be provided with the additional training and support during term 1, 2014.

The Department will also provide onsite support to the 229 focus schools.

All members are encouraged to continue to notify the PSA of any problems they are experiencing and to lodge a help desk call with the Department’s Shared Service Centre.

Make over for Managing Excess Employees Policy

The O’Farrell Government has announced that it is redrafting the Managing Excess Employees Policy Employees Policy to bring it into line with the provisions of the Government Sector Employment Act.

The PSA will be seeking input into this process.

PSA feedback on GSE draft rules and regulation

The PSA has written to the Public Service Commissioner outlining our major concerns with the draft Government Sector Employment rules and regulation.

The submission can be viewed HERE (PDF).


Authorised by Anne Gardiner, General Secretary, Public Service Association of NSW, 160 Clarence Street, Sydney

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