The PSA has received a number of enquires from SafeWork NSW Inspectors in relation to the outcome of the dispute between the PSA and the Department of Customer Service (DCS) in relation to the Purchase Card (P Card) and Travelling Compensation.
The PSA reached an agreement with the Department earlier this year and previous bulletins outlining the terms of that agreement have been sent through to all DCS staff, excluding Service NSW who are on a different Award.
It is important to note that the agreement was made on a without admission basis. This means the PSA has not relinquished its position with respect to the interpretation, or application of clauses 26 or 29 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 and that we can still arbitrate the matter at a later date.
The decision not to arbitrate at this time was made after extensive surveying and consultation with members.
In respect of clause 26 and 29 we advise members of the following:
- Clause 26 is about overnight travel within a 24-hour period. If you meet the definition within the travel policy (travel more than six times a year or more than once a quarter) you must get a P Card and must put travel expenses on the P Card.
- Members should be aware that if you have a P Card you need to use it for travel-related purposes and can only claim allowances under clause 26 if you have not been issued one or it is not accepted by the vendor.
- Clause 29 is about one-day journeys where you don’t stay overnight. You still require a P Card for one-day travel. You can put expenses on the P Card. You don’t have to buy a meal. If you meet the conditions for travel with this allowance, you can claim the meal allowance. And because the Department requires everyone to put lunch on their P Card you can claim the difference when you do that.
- In relation to the definition of the term “Field Worker” the PSA is still in disagreement with the application of clause 29 to field workers. Field workers are employees who are required to travel as part of their ordinary duties. The Department does not agree with clause 29 being available to field workers in their ordinary duties.
One of the significant outcomes of the dispute was that the Department has agreed to review all claims made under Clauses 26 and 29 between the 12 December 2017 until 25 May 2022 and will rectify any payment that may not have been made properly.