PSA Update from your Members of Parliament Staff Delegates - Public Service Association

PSA Update from your Members of Parliament Staff Delegates

The following is a message from your Members of Parliament Staff (MoPS) PSA delegates:

We know that you’re under enormous workload strain at the moment, particularly if you are working in areas subject to additional restrictions.  We hope you’re keeping safe and well, please let us know if there’s any additional support you need.

PSA delegates have heard from some members that they feel unequipped to manage interactions with distressed constituents safely, particularly when it came to constituents who speak about self-harm or suicidal ideation when contacting MP and MLC offices.  Last week, the PSA wrote to Mark Webb to highlight the adverse impact on our mental health and emotional wellbeing that this lack of training and support creates.  We raised that these interactions – particularly in the context of increased workloads and isolated working environments – are serious work health and safety hazards and this risk is rapidly escalating as the lockdown continues.

In his response, Mark Webb indicated a number of resources are currently available, and that they are now working on additional resources to be rolled out soon.

Currently within the Parliament’s online training system (Kando) there is:


DPS are developing a training program for all electorate officers in conjunction with Lifeline on how to deal with these interactions safely, which will be announced soon

Several upcoming courses, which you can see more detail about here:

  • Best practice for suicide threats in the workplace – 90 minute webinar, Oct 8 (register here)
  • Strengthening skills for sensitive interactions with constituents – interactive session, no upcoming dates (declare your interest here)

If self-guided or pre-recorded training doesn’t work for you, we encourage you to sign up to the upcoming webinar on ‘Best practice for suicide threats in the workplace’ on Oct 8, and declare interest for the ‘Strengthening skills’ course to be run again by emailing the Parliament training team here.  We also look forward to hearing more about the Lifeline session currently in development and are hopeful that this will be an interactive training session. We’ll continue advocating for the training and support we need to ensure we can safely perform our roles and support our communities.

As always, EAP is available to all staff via 1800 818 728. If you experience any problems accessing EAP, or have any concerns with the quality of service you receive, feel free to let your PSA delegates know and we can escalate this as a workplace issue. It’s never been more important for us to have a good quality support service at work.

If you ever have any ideas about how we could make our jobs safer, get in touch with any of us via our details below.

Stay safe.

In unity,

Peta, Chris, Oliver, Zack and Alysha

Peta Waller-Bryant

Alysha Hardy

Christopher Northam

Oliver Plunkett

Zack Solomon

Chris Bird (PSA Organiser)

Please encourage your MoPS colleagues to join the PSA so we can continue to advocate for all staff. Non-members can join here:

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