Report back from meeting with Acting Commissioner Fatima Abbas
To follow up on enquiries members made at the 16 October state-wide members’ meeting, the PSA met with Acting Commissioner Fatima Abbas last week. The PSA notes the communication sent on 23 October from the Acting Commissioner. This was in direct response to the PSA’s advocacy.
Members across the state advised the PSA that workload is a significant issue. This is particularly the case since the last major restructure of the agency last year.
At last week’s meeting, the Deputy Commissioner acknowledged the issue of overwork, unpaid work and forfeited hours. The meeting was constructive and positive. The SES advised that workload issues should be dealt with at the local level at first instance by approaching local management. Further, work from deleted roles should not be done.
If the issue of workload cannot be addressed at the local level, then it can be escalated to Human Resources. However, members are welcome to contact the PSA if there are any issues at any stage of this process.
As part of dealing with workload issues, the SES also advised the agency is currently reviewing its functions and will seek to minimise activities which are not ‘core’ SES business. This includes advice to local councils as the SES are not deemed a ‘certifying authority’.
The PSA reiterates the direction to members not to perform unpaid overtime, and not do the work of deleted roles.
The need for training was also raise with the Acting Commissioner last week. Again we note the Acting Commissioner’s communication on this issue. If members believe there are gaps in their skills and knowledge, then they should be identified and discussed with local management. However, the member should contact the PSA if there are any difficulties.
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Your PSA staff
Monika Wunderlin Industrial Officer
Latu Sailosi Organiser