The PSA today withdrew our current dispute about the Role Description of Special Constables and foreshadowed filing a full Work Value Case at the earliest opportunity.
Contrary to an email circulated by NSW Police, this dispute was only withdrawn to run a Work Value Case, which will provide much more comprehensive evidence of the value of your work. After 18 months of completely undervaluing your duties through the Role Description dispute, it is remarkable NSW Police now seeks to paint itself as the party with members’ interests at heart. If true, it would and could fix your Role Description and pay tomorrow.
Instead, NSW Police spent resources engaging a barrister to attempt to stop the PSA from discontinuing the Role Description dispute in order to prevent progressing to a more expansive Work Value Case. The Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) rightly dismissed this attempt this morning.
Our lawyers advised us before Christmas that the best result we could get from the current Role Description dispute would be a recommendation to change the Role Description. This outcome would be unenforceable and would likely be ignored by NSW Police, who have consistently demonstrated they do not value your work.
As such, our lawyers have recommended that we instead file a Work Value Case which could prove that Special Constables are underpaid and deserve a substantial pay rise. The PSA’s General Secretary, Stewart Little, has instructed the PSA’s lawyers to formulate and file a claim for a pay rise for all Special Constables via a Work Value case.
In an unprecedented move, the NSW Police lawyers tried to prevent the PSA from withdrawing our Role Description dispute unless we agreed to extend the Dispute Orders. This would have prolonged the period in which the PSA was prohibited from organising and implementing industrial action beyond the current deadline of 7 March 2020. NSW Police are clearly rattled by our determination to achieve justice for Special Constables. This desperate effort by NSW Police predictably failed, with Commissioner Webster granting the PSA leave to withdraw our dispute without any conditions.
This new strategy by the PSA represents a stepping up of our industrial campaign for pay justice for Special Constables. We have not changed our view on the inadequacy of the Role Description, which is still an insult to our members. However, we believe that focusing on a pay rise via a Work Value Case is a better use of the union’s resources and has better prospects of success for Special Constable members.
We will keep members informed of developments in the claim on a regular basis.
Make no mistake, the PSA is more committed than ever to escalating its campaign for wage justice for Special Constables, despites months and years of roadblocks from NSW Police. Watch this space.