I have written this bulletin to introduce myself and to provide an update on some of the issues for our Non-Custodial members at the moment.
I am David Bartle, the Senior Industrial Officer at the Justice Team. I have recently taken carriage of the Non-Custodial portfolio.
Towards 2030 Reforms
The PSA continues to meet with members across all areas and Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) regarding the Towards 2030 Reforms.
As part of the reforms, there will be Service and Programs Officer (SAPO) positions created in the community (Community Model) and a new custodial structure (Custodial Model) will be introduced.
Currently, the Community Model is still under development. A document will be provided to the PSA for consultation called a Playbook which will provide details of how a multi-disciplinary team in the community should operate, deliver programs and interact with inter-disciplinary teams within the Custodial Model.
On the custodial model side, CSNSW has commenced the process of filling roles, starting at the 11/12 level and will work their way down.
CSNSW has created three working parties to consult around specific areas:
Workstream 1 Focusing on the work that Psychologists will undertake in the community.
Workstream 2 Focusing on the structure and development of group-based programs in the community and the introduction of any possible new services. This Workstream will be creating the Playbook, detailing the work that will be undertaken in the community by SAPOs.
Workstream 3 Creating a supportive rehabilitation culture and systems for people in custody.
At this time, Workstream 3 is on hold while planning in other areas is underway.
Education Support Coordinator role at Bathurst
CSNSW has announced plans to move the ESC role from Bathurst to Kirkconnell Correctional Centre. The PSA has provided feedback on this proposal to CSNSW but we have not received a response at the time of writing and are following up.
Complex Placement Unit
Following industrial action by members of the Prison Officers’ Vocational Branch (POVB), CSNSW decided to open the Complex Placement Unit (CPU) at the MRRC and close the ACMU. This was done without prior consultation with the PSA or local delegates.
The PSA has since corresponded and met with CSNSW, raising significant concerns around the staffing and infrastructure of the CPU. As a result, CSNSW have agreed continuing consultation will take place while the CPU is trialed, an issues register will be created, and all feedback will be considered. A Senior Psychologist is currently placed at the CPU for the interim period whilst consultation continues.
State Executive of the POVB Jason Charlton has expressed POVB support for our Psychologist members and for the role of the Senior Psychologist to remain at the CPU.
Professional Standards and Investigations
The PSA met with CSNSW to consult on changes to the PSB/IB and the handling of misconduct allegations. They are hopeful that the new process will create a faster and more streamlined process.
As part of the reforms, the Professional Standards Branch and Investigations Branch will be merged into Professional Standards and Investigation (‘PSI’) with the Director of PSI having five teams report to them:
- Prevention, Education and Development Team;
- Assessment and Triage Team;
- Complex Cases Team;
- Metro Team; and
- Regional Team.
Along with the new team structure, there will be a new process for triaging misconduct matters: the matter is reported through an automated screening tool, which will attempt to identify and filter out matters that are not misconduct. If the matter is potentially misconduct, the new Assessment and Triage Team will classify the alleged misconduct into several defined categories.
For minor misconduct or below, most matters will be referred back to the centre to be dealt by remedial action, such as training. For more serious matters or repeated misconduct, the matter will be assigned to the Complex Case Team for the most serious or complicated matters or to either the Metro or Regional Team depending on the location of the misconduct.
A database is also being developed that will track disciplinary outcomes, which will be used to ensure a consistent approach to imposing penalties. The PSA has repeatedly raised the inconsistent outcomes for our members as an issue for many years.
The PSA asked about security and access restrictions to this database and it is something we will continue to raise throughout the consultation process to ensure our members’ privacy is maintained.
Finally, CSNSW indicated they want more transparency and support for people involved on both sides of the disciplinary process and the PSI Support team will be expanded to achieve this outcome.
The reform is an ongoing process and the PSA will remain involved throughout.
You should have received your pay rise in the last pay cycle in August, if this did not occur, please contact the Member Support Centre on 1800 772 679.
People Matters Survey
The PSA has heard concerns from members that the People Matters Survey contains questions that can be used to identify individuals in the workplace.
CSNSW has advised that all data is handled by the Corrections Research Evaluation and Statistics (CRES) Team, which is a specialised unit that collects and analyses data. CRES has rules in place to prevent identifying data being provided to anyone, including a rule that omits small data sets that can result in an individual being identified.
The PSA supports participation in the People Matters Survey, which allows our members to provide valuable feedback to their employer and can help to shape future policy.