After a long, hard-fought battle, the PSA has won greater protections for members in relation to the filling of jobs in Service NSW.
The Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) recommended the parties accept a Terms of Settlement.
The PSA did so following endorsement by delegates in Roads and Maritime Services, Fair Trading and Births, Deaths and Marriages.
While the outcome does not achieve direct appointments for affected employees (as argued by the PSA) it does ensure a greater degree of fairness and security for members compared to the ‘spill and fill’ method proposed by the Government.
No recruitment centres for most members
Applicants for equivalent positions below the level of Service Centre Manager or Contact Centre Team Leader will not have to attend an external recruitment centre or undergo any online testing where there are the same or fewer applicants than positions. Instead applicants will have to attend only a single interview and the appointment decision will focus on an employee’s existing service record.
A merit based right of appeal review process
In the event an existing employee is unsuccessful in applying for a job in Service NSW and vacancies remain after the first round for each position, they will be able to have the decision reviewed by the IRC. This provides a safeguard in the event an employee is not appointed to an equivalent position in the agency.
Use of public sector merit selection principles
All interviews and interview panels must adhere to the merit selection principles used in the public sector. This greatly reduces the possibility of unfair or biased decisions.
Consideration of service record
An applicant’s employment record will have significant influence in reaching a decision as to suitability. This means there can be little to no reason why employees with satisfactory work history are not appointed. It is also a protection against being knocked out in the event of poor performance at the interview stage.
In addition, the PSA had raised concerns regarding a number of flaws in the recruitment process used for the first round applicants for the Service and Contact Centre manager positions. This resulted in a number of members not being appointed to positions despite being the only applicant for their location.
We have consequently won the right for these members to re-apply for their positions under the revised and fairer process with access to an appeals mechanism if required.
Assistance with the review process
The PSA will assist members who are facing a review. Just contact the PSA industrial staff for your current agency.
Thanks are due to the efforts of delegates, witnesses and members for their invaluable assistance, hard work and guidance throughout what has been a long and at times difficult process.