On Tuesday 8 February, a PSA delegation met with Workforce Relations representatives at the Police Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). The following issues were discussed:
Amalgamation of HR and Education and Training Commands
The amalgamated Commands will henceforth be known as the People and Capability Command. At this stage, the change will only affect senior management roles and reporting lines. There are no proposals for deletion or relocation of other roles.
SOPS and training for GASOs
Inadequate SOPS and training packages for GASOs are making the task of managers and staff difficult in the areas of performance management and staff training. Workforce Relations will seek a briefing on the Admin Staff SOPS review project and possible additional PETE training units for GASOs.
Part-time for older workers and workers with chronic medical conditions
A number of members have been refused part-time in preparation for retirement or to cope with medical conditions. Police agreed to review the relevant policies and information resources and engage in further discussions.
Flexible Working Arrangements Policy
There is currently a review of policies applying to flexible work. The initial view is that the current policies are generally fit for purpose, but need to be streamlined and supplemented by improved education and information for commanders. Any members having difficulties applying for flexible work should contact the PSA for advice and assistance.
Direction to close contacts to return early to workplace as critical workers On Thursday 13 January 2022, National Cabinet made amendments to the COVID isolation rules that potentially apply to critical workers. Members of the NSW Police Force and a person who provides ancillary of support services to the work of an emergency services worker are defined as a critical worker.
Up until that decision, persons defined at the category of “close contact”, being people that share a household with a positive COVID case, were required to self-isolate for an already reduced six days. The January amendments to this rule meant critical workers were potentially exempt from this obligation.
The PSA holds grave concerns regarding the Workplace Health and Safety of our members with the removal of this requirement, and sought details from NSWPF on their position regarding calling in close contacts.
Management advised that this would only be done as a last resort and requires a risk assessment to be carried out. Please let you union know if you are in this situation and feel pressured to return to work so that we may review the required risk assessment.
Novavax The PSA asked for special consideration to be given prior to terminating the employment of staff who are as yet unvaccinated but are waiting for Novavax, due to the recent approval and imminent distribution of this vaccine. After the meeting the PSA wrote to Police formalising this request.
Mandating of booster shots NSW Police is still awaiting a decision from the national authorities as to whether a booster shot is required to be considered fully vaccinated. It undertook to advise the PSA as soon as a decision is taken.