Members were made aware yesterday through communications sent out by the Command that the proposed rank and insignia has been sent for final approval by CET. As members may have seen, there are a number of recommendations put forward by the PSA that were adopted, while others were not. We understand this has been a long and protracted process and the PSA shares several concerns around this proposal. In the interests of keeping this bulletin brief please see some key dates in these discussions below:
- On 22 October 2020 the PSA, through its Delegates, submitted a proposal to update the rank and insignia for Special Constables. As it stands, the vast majority of Special Constables present as junior officers with between one and two years’ experience.
- On 14 December 2022, the PSA met with SMU leadership and WorkForce Relations. At this meeting feedback was given to the PSA that their original proposal had been denied as it did not align with ranks contained within the Crown Employees (NSW Police Force Special Constables) (Security) Award 2018).
- The PSA, with assistance from your Delegates, took the feedback on board and submitted another proposal on 15 December 2022 with all ranks and insignia corresponding with the Award.
Following submission of this second proposal, the PSA continually attempted to seek an update to our proposal and whether there was any progress being made. This correspondence with the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) was all to no avail. Due to the protracted nature of this process and the lack of communication with your union, the PSA filed a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
On 16 May 2023, the PSA and NSWPF attended a conciliation hearing at the IRC around the proposed changes. The PSA had been seeking an update as to the status of the proposed proposal. There was a commitment at this hearing that joint communications between the parties would be sent out along with the proposal. It is disappointing for the joint communications to have not been sent out prior to the information from the Command. The matter is still listed before the IRC and the PSA will consider its options regarding whether further hearing dates are needed.
The PSA understands members frustrations with both the length of time involved in this process and the fact that the proposal sent out does not provide for recognition of service for a large number of Special Constables. The major concern from the PSA’s point of view is that we were told explicitly on 14 December 2022 that our initial proposal was denied due to the fact it did not neatly match the Award. The proposal sent out yesterday, equally does not match up with the provisions of the Award with Senior Special Constables, second year of service and thereafter having no recognition provided for their service.
The PSA, along with your Delegates, will continue to have discussions around how we progress. It is deeply regrettable how this whole process has been conducted by the NSWPF. In what should have been a simple exercise in modernising the insignia for Special Constables to show recognition and gratitude for their years of service quickly descended into a farcical cycle of correspondence between the parties that has taken close to three years to even come close to a conclusion.