The PSA A/General Secretary Troy Wright and COI representatives met with the RMS and HNVR on Tuesday 26 November as part of the Tripartite consultation regarding the transition to the NHVR. This is the fourth of these meetings held to consult on the transition and share information so that there is a consistent understanding of matters between the parties.
What was discussed?
The concept of operations
Now that the RMS Due Diligence is finalised it is incumbent on the NHVR to provide its ‘Concept of Operations’ – how they will provide the services administered by the RMS in the NHVR environment. As previously flagged on several occasions, HVIS is a sticking point. Accordingly, the NHVR is developing two concepts of operations, either including or excluding HVIS operations.
As previously stated NHVR are using the information gleaned from RMS Due Diligence to develop their ‘like for like’ operations. The decision on models will ultimately be made by the NSW Government.
The final fully fledged Concept of Operations is earmarked for completion in February 2020. From there it will return to the RMS for acceptance/refusal/augmentation.
CaRS involvement with evolving transport
Whilst CaRs functions have been moved under the Safety, Environment and Regulatory Division, there is still a clear understanding that the transition to the NHVR is continuing.
COIs along with the Professional and Administration staff of CaRS are siloed until such time as a decision is made.
Recent Announcements on the transfer of Positions & the Recruitment of COIs
The RMS has transferred a number of vacant COI roles to other worksites across the state. Several of those roles were focussed on safety stations.
The concern is that this places some level of pressure on those areas where staff were moved from with regard to their long term viability as worksites in the future NHVR operations. The PSA was informed that in no way did the operations of the NHVR affect the decision making processes around the transfer of vacant positions.
The RMS is now realising that the number of COIs are at such critical levels that it is affecting service delivery. Whilst the recruitment of 15 COIs is a step in the right direction, at least another three intakes of this nature is required. This takes into consideration the length of time to have this intake trained and ready to perform all COI duties, and the age demography and natural attrition of the current workforce.
With heavy vehicle fatalities rising and key indicators of compliance slipping, those numbers need to be assured.
Recruitment of new Executive Director for CaRS
Evolving Transport organisational concepts have spared very little of the Transport Senior Service spilling a vast number of SES roles. It is not envisaged that the potential employment of new Senior Service within the CaRS Branch will have any effect on the transition processes already in-train.
The RMS Dissolution Legislation and the Employment Guarantee for RMS Group Staff
After a few false starts, the Bill to dissolve the RMS has come into effect 1 December. Accordingly, the Government legislation now provides an employment guarantee for RMS staff for the next four-years, COIs inclusive. This does not preclude the provision of voluntary redundancies. However, it must be recognised that this provides for significant protections for the on-going employment of COIs and the RMS Group for four-years.
As for exactly how that might affect the current substance of the transition negotiations is yet to be determined.
NHVR Enterprise Agreements up for Re-Negotiation
Both Operational and Professional & Administrative Enterprise Agreements in the NHVR will require re-negotiation for July and August respectively. This means that the PSA (through our Federal counterparts the CPSU) will begin negotiations in February/March 2020.
Whilst the PSA isn’t a party to these agreements, we have sought commitments from the NHVR to be represented in preparation for the transition to the HNVR. For some CaRS staff, their respective Enterprise Agreements provide for considerable levels of disadvantage compared to the current RMS Consolidated Salaried Award 2019.
The next meeting with be held in May 2020.