PSA update: Transfer of staff to Harwood Building - Public Service Association

PSA update: Transfer of staff to Harwood Building

Harwood Update - March 2021 (PDF version)

Recently, the PSA met with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) representatives to discuss the moving of staff from level 5 of the Powerhouse Museum to the Harwood Building. The move primarily impacted Visitor Services Officers (VSOs) and Ticketing and Booking Staff, as well as Harwood building staff.

MAAS Chief Executive Lisa Havilah was present. PSA Industrial Officer Nick Player attended this meeting, as did your PSA Delegates Damian McDonald and Nathan Farrow.

Based on consultation with PSA members, the PSA discussed proposals with MAAS regarding this change. The below are the PSA’s notes on the discussion that took place.

PSA notes of MAAS meeting re: Level 5 offices and breakroom moving into Harwood building

PSA proposal Status
  • MAAS to place storage lockers in the Powerhouse Museum.
    • This will allow front of house staff access to personal hygiene products and medication.
·         The PSA understands that there are now 24 pigeon holes in the Powerhouse Museum to store items for front of house staff.

·         The PSA understands there are approximately 56 lockers in the Harwood building for VSOs to use.

  • MAAS to facilitate a breakout space within the Powerhouse Museum for front of house staff.
    • Possible locations include:
      • the unused previous members lounge in the Powerhouse Museum above interface,
      • the unused previous members lounge on level 4, within the PLC space outside of school holiday periods.
·         MAAS took on board that certain facilities may be currently used on a casual basis by front of house staff. The PSA understands that, in the immediate term, MAAS did not have reservations regarding this.

·         While there is no certainty of an ongoing arrangement (i.e. a permanent breakroom in the Powerhouse Museum for VSOs), MAAS indicated they would look into the feasibility of an ongoing arrangement.

·         MAAS indicated they would look at if those facilities could be used as a breakroom.

·         The PSA understands this is important to PSA members, and will continue to advocate for it on your behalf.

  • MAAS to seek feedback from VSO staff regarding for operational input.
    • VSOs have sought radios be stored at Front of House on level 3 of the Museum.
·         MAAS indicated they would revisit the operational requirements regarding this.
  • MAAS to raise the Level 5 office move with Work Health and Safety (WHS) committee to resolve arising WHS issues.
    • Issues include potential access to facilities for Harwood building, the increase employees in the Harwood building being a concern during the pandemic, and other WHS matters.
·         The PSA understands PSA members will be raising issues with this to the WHS committee.


·         MAAS will raise concerns regarding stairless access on a case by case basis.


·         We encourage PSA members to log Work Health and Safety issues and issue arising regarding this move and email them to your PSA Delegates.

  • PSA and MAAS to provide update Joint Consultative Committee on how this matter is progressing.
·         The previous JCC at MAAS was postponed.


·         The PSA will be raising this as an agenda item as the next Joint Consultative Committee.


·         The PSA will be holding a members meeting on Thursday 18 March 2021 12 – 1pm.

  • PSA members have requested the Chief Executive Lisa Havilah meet with VSOs and impacted staff regarding the change.


·         MAAS indicated they were open to this.

·         The PSA understands that Chief Executive Lisa Havilah will arrange a meeting with VSO’s to discuss this matter.


PSA members’ meeting Thursday 18 march 2021

A reminder there will be a PSA members’ meeting on Thursday 18 March 2021. PSA members can raise any items they deem important. Send your agenda items through to your PSA Delegates.

Join the PSA

Whether it be Saving the Ultimo Powerhouse Museum or saving jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSA has always backed members in MAAS. You can join the PSA today at


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