Your union, along with local delegates, met with the Department of Customer Service on 4 May 2020 to continue the discussions around members transitioning from Revenue NSW to Service NSW, with particular concern over the flexible working arrangements and practices available in Service NSW.
Also under discussion were concerns raised by members in relation to increases to part-time hours both in Revenue NSW and Service NSW.
The PSA had raised these matters at the Realignment Joint Consultative Committee meeting on 30 April, then referred the matter to the JCC with the Secretary, Em Hogan, on 4 May. Immediately following that meeting, we entered into further discussions with the Department at a Customer Engagement Integration Transition meeting.
At that meeting we discussed:
- Flexible Work Practices in Service NSW
The Department advised there are flexible working practices available in the roster system within the Business As Usual (BAU) roster. Although flex time is not available in the shift roster, it will do case-by-case, basis-for-hardship claims by staff.
The PSA raised concerns these options were only available for extenuating circumstances and limited timeframes.
The Department claimed it was too expensive for their budget to operate any other way.
Service NSW is willing to look at onboarding staff having access to patterns that are outside the normal shift roster.
The PSA pointed to the fact that staff do not seem to be aware of what is or is not on offer in Service NSW. The Department has agreed to provide a communication piece and a webinar for staff which will be available this week. Workforce planners will also be available for staff to consult with in relation to by-exception rosters.
The Department is also sending out a form to staff to nominate particular working hours or patterns so they can get an understanding of what is needed.
We have been informed by the Department that letters of offer will be going out in 3 tranches: Long-term absences on 5 May; Bulk of staff on 6 May; everyone else on 20 May.
Please take time to watch the webinar and talk with a workforce planner prior to making any decisions about whether to transition to Service NSW or stay in Revenue NSW.
- Increases to part-time hours, changes to afternoon shifts and compressed hours
This was raised as a concern because members had been offered the opportunity to increase their part-time hours. A number of you took up the offer and received communications from the Department advising the increase in hours had been approved.
An email was sent out after hours suggesting that the increase was being walked back.
The PSA raised this as a concern on behalf of members at the RJCC, the JCC and the CEI transition meeting following the JCC.
The Department responded as follows:
With changing pattern of work and the aligning of opening hours with Revenue NSW and Service NSW there was no further requirement for either compressed hours or afternoon shifts. There will no longer be afternoon shifts attracting penalty rates on offer.
It was clarified that as far as additional hours are concerned, it is not possible for Service NSW to offer them.
Service NSW cited budget constraints and stated that ongoing contracts transferring across from Revenue need a budget to transfer with them. Revenue have not made a funding commitment due to lack of recurring funding and a reduction in hours for the contracts.
Service NSW has committed to re-evaluating the capacity to supply additional hours over time, but say that at the moment they are not in a position to approve an increase to part-time hours.
The PSA advised that, within Service NSW and/or those seeking to transition to Service NSW, we have a significant number of members who accepted an offer to request an increase to their part-time hours and a number who have received written confirmation of the increase. The Department believes that only one area actually sent out confirmation to individual staff members and the signer of that communication did not have the financial delegation to authorise.
We are inviting members who have received written confirmation that an increase to their part-time hours had been approved to send us their documentation. If it has been signed by someone who would qualify as having the delegation to approve the increase, we will seek to have that honoured. Please send any communication in relation to this matter to firstname.lastname@example.org and quote call number 127366.
It was noted that there are members in Revenue NSW who have had their hours increased. The Department advised that, as their increase had been signed off by the Director, Collections Centre and the financial delegation for Revenue sits with that position, the increase to those hours is approved.
Your union has a further meeting with the Department on this matter on 8 May 2020.
The Department also confirmed that positions still available for the Service 1000 are six-month temporary positions only.
The PSA will continue to make representations on behalf of members affected by flexible working practices and/or increases to part-time hours. While we will do so collectively at these meetings, we will also undertake support for individual concerns on a case-by-case basis.