Members would be aware the RMS has made changes to the Light Vehicle Policy. Whilst these changes are small, it is the way they being interpreted and implemented that is having the potentially significant impact to staff and their continued way of working.
Home-garaging applications are still an option for the RMS and part of the policy and can be facilitated through approvals from managers. The obvious scenario is when taking the vehicle home and garaging overnight will provide better or more efficient business outcomes than travelling to a work location to obtain a fleet vehicle. The level of concern from the membership is the level at which approvals are expected.
In some cases, this edict is being treated by some managers as blanket statement where the proper sentiments and practicalities are not being addressed. Staff who have regularly taken home vehicles and that will suffer significant impact due to the unavailability of public transport or alternative personal vehicles should speak to their manager in the first instance in order to obtain a mutually beneficial resolution.
A simple ‘going to and from home is no longer the concern of the RMS’ is not a satisfactory resolution. This may require the use of the fleet vehicles for longer periods of time than the dictated cut-off date to accommodate those requirements or using alternative methods available.
Managers should consider instances of hardship or detriment when assessing these claims from members. If members are having difficulty in obtaining such approvals, phone the PSA Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.
For operational areas, the PSA still has concerns that the policy should have been dealt with on a business unit basis. Staff good will continues to be tested, with genuine concerns that operational efficiencies will be eroded. Any reductions in operational efficiency will eventually filter down into worse road user outcomes right at the time when families are using the roads for festive season.
The RMS have decided to continue with telematics trials on fleet vehicles in order to obtain a better understanding on how the RMS is being used. The RMS have not shied away from using these instruments to reduce the numbers of fleet vehicles within the system. The RMS have provided staff who are part of the trial with a section 10 notice required under the Workplace Surveillance Act NSW 2005. The issue of concern relates to the RMS wanting to reduce the period of notice required to be given for surveillance. This is partly negated by the commitments from the RMS that the information gleaned for these purposes over the next 5 weeks will not make members subject to identification or disciplinary action. However, staff should not feel pressured into signing this document if they still have concerns. If members are being disadvantaged by not waiving such a requirement, then they should phone the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.
Staff Facilities & Infrastructure
Many field staff have used the fleet vehicles as a pseudo-worksite maintaining not only the vehicle itself but accountable items not limited to lap tops, Personal Protective Equipment, work phones and other assigned work equipment.
The member concern is that returning vehicles to RMS worksites will leave staff with all of this equipment and nowhere to store it securely. It is unreasonable to make staff take all of this material home with them.
Therefore, it would appear that the RMS will need to facilitate the introduction or expansion of personal lockers. Staff required to work in the field may also require additional facilities such as showers and changing rooms and the RMS will need to accommodate those activities into future.
The PSA would like to hear from members regarding the issues with the facilities in your location.