As per our last bulletin, the PSA has been attempting to reach a sensible outcome with DFSI regarding the process of offering voluntary redundancies and the use of direct appointments, rather than assessment, for staff that wish to remain. The PSA was attempting to issue a joint communication with the department, unfortunately we could not reach agreement, and the joint communication was cancelled. Despite this, the department released a message at 3:20pm claiming “we have agreed with the PSA to issue this update”. The update released was NOT agreed to, and highlights the duplicitous nature of the Department.
Despite the PSA’s best efforts, Revenue NSW still refuse to commit to a logical and sensible way of implementing a restructure in which people’s lives are being drastically affected by the loss of jobs.
The PSA recognise that the Department has the right to restructure its workforce. However, this does not mean that Revenue NSW can disregard its obligation to ensure that “outcomes are fair and reasonable and employees are managed with sensitivity to the pressures of change on both themselves and their families.” The PSA believe that this obligation, as stated in the Agency Change Management Guidelines, has been ignored.
It is clear that through the use of an upfront EOI for voluntary redundancies, Revenue NSW is able to offer VR’s to the employees that want them, and directly assign the employees who wish to remain at grade. This just makes sense.
It would seem that Revenue NSW would prefer however, to undergo assessment and interviews. Revenue NSW have stated that the roles in the new structure have different tasks, functions and operating environments, and thus they need to assess whether employees can perform these tasks.
The Government Sector Employment Act states (s45 and s46) that employees are employed within a classification of work determined by the agency head and can be assigned to roles within that classification of work. The GSE Act also states a classification of work extends to any kind of work and any grade of that work. For the purposes of assignment ‘classification of work’ should be regarded as including roles within the agency that are of similar grade, remuneration and capability requirements.
Put simply, staff have already been assessed against these roles when they secured ongoing employment, and as the new roles have the same role descriptions, essential requirement and capability requirements there is no need for further assessment.
Where to now?
Despite the above, direct assignment is still available to Revenue NSW. Revenue NSW has also indicated that direct assignments will be considered on an individual basis. The PSA is required to wait until tomorrow to seek information as to how many EOI’s were received for voluntary redundancy at each relevant grade. The information received will determine the further action the PSA will progress, and we will release further advice to members. Members can be sure that we will advocate for any member who wishes to be directly assigned.