Public Service Commission dispute update - Public Service Association

Public Service Commission dispute update

Dispute Update - September 2020 (PDF version)

On Friday 18 September 2020 the dispute between the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Public Service Association of NSW (PSA) was heard before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW (IRC).

The PSA put forward our view there had not been sufficient information addressing the level of work being reduced to accommodate the loss of 10 staff. We further touched on the fact staff are concerned about the PSC’s future if the number of employees is reduced. The PSA focused particularly on the impact of cuts to the Diversity and Inclusion Branch.

The PSC argued there had been significant consultation and that people wanted to get on with it – a view many PSA members do not share. It argued business plans had been provided and were being further developed, and that the PSA was provided with sufficient information, such as the fact six branches had been reduced to four. The employer further advised that once they were in roles, Grade 11/12s would have a strong part in developing their own tasks and workload. The PSC said this would be “very empowering”.

The PSC did inform us there is no current intention to decrease positions Grade 7/8 or below. However, it qualified that by saying the November Budget or the 11/12s further formulating business plans may have an impact on this assurance.

We were happy about the comments relating to other grades not being diminished. However, your union argued our members had advised us that they want the restructure done properly rather than too speedily, and that the cut in branches didn’t cut work. We advised that people aren’t feeling very empowered and would like more information before they apply for the roles.

Ultimately the IRC did not make the recommendation we sought, which was to put the restructure on hold until we had the relevant information. However, it did support our secondary view that very strong processes be used to ensure workload was looked at. It was agreed a Joint Consultative Committee meeting would be held next week to discuss this further and we have a report back before the IRC on Wednesday September 30 2020 at 11:30am.

The PSA remains concerned this restructure will impact on the PSC performing its functions effectively whilst at the same time overwhelm its loyal employees with massive workloads. We will continue with discussions to reduce the damage of this latest cut in the much diminished Public Sector. If the PSC cuts roles, it will have to cut workloads, too.

We will keep members informed.

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