The first Service NSW Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) for 2020 was held on 26 March 2020, the following bulletin is a report back to members following that meeting.
Much of the meeting was understandably given to discussing COVID-19 and the steps being taking by Service NSW in response to this. As an identified ‘essential service’, there have been substantial work undertaken to provide business continuity while still meeting the WHS needs of staff. PSA industrial staff remain in constant communication with the Department in relation to the responses.
At risk employees
The Department reported it had undertaken a review of all staff across Service NSW and where staff had been identified as being ‘high risk’ they have provided work from home as an alternative. It was reported to the PSA that approximately 150 individual arrangements to accommodate staff had been made to date.
The PSA has been in specific ongoing discussions about concerns for Driver Testers at this time conducting Driving Tests. We are pleased to see the announcement by the CEO on 27 March 2020 that as of Monday 30 March 2020 Driver Testing except for essential testing will be suspended for a two-month period.
Again, the PSA reminds members of their rights under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as per section 84 to cease unsafe work if you feel that you are being asked to undertake duties that may potentially put you at risk, it is the PSA expectation that you should be found alternative (CSR duties) should you make this request.
Request for DRIVES to be provided to work from home staff
As a consequence of a number of staff in the Contact Centres now working from home there has been a significant increase in calls having to be dealt with by staff still physically at the Contact Centre due to not being able to access DRIVES remotely.
The PSA is aware of the security concerns that have long been the reason for this but given the unprecedented nature of the current situation believe that allowing staff to remotely access DRIVES when working from home would significantly alleviate the burden currently being placed on Contact Centre staff.
The PSA raised this request through the JCC and will make more formal representations to the Government on member’s behalf.
1000 additional temporary staff and new changes to business hours
As part of the Governments response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Service NSW is currently recruiting an additional 1000 temporary staff. It is also introducing a 24-hour, seven-day service.
The PSA has been assured by Service NSW that no exisiting staff will be approached unless they volunteer to undertake the additional work outside of normal operating hours. For remuneration that lies currently outside of the Service NSW Salaries and Conditions Award 2018, Service NSW will revert to the conditions as per the Crown Employees Conditions of Employment Award.
2020 Award negotiations
Ordinarily by this time the PSA would be engaged with ongoing negotiations with the Department as to a new 2020 Award. Between the bushfires and COVID-19 this has not occurred.
The Department has yet to receive direction from NSW Treasury as to how this will be proceeding.
Working beyond shift finish times
This has been an ongoing issue that effects staff differently across Service NSW due to the inconsistency in how it is managed.
PSA Delegates have met with the Director, Contact Centres who has given assurances that staff are not expected to work beyond their shift and that if they do they should be eligible for additional hours.
Concerns have also been raised with the PSA in relation to Service Centres and the use of KRONOS. Under no circumstances should any member be directed to sign-off on KRONOS and then continue working.
If this is occurring you should report it to the PSA so that we can follow up with Senior Management.
This matter is temporarily paused due to the significant disruption caused by COVID-19, although remains one of significant concern for the PSA.
Relief pool Driver Tester home base
There has been an inconsistency for some time with newer relief pool DTs being based from McKell and others from Macarthur.
The Department has given notice to the PSA that it is wanting to begin consultation to look at having all DTs nominally based from McKell.
This will raise a number of issues for the affected DTs with regards to travel allowances and entitlements.
Further discussions with potentially affected members will occur when consultation with the Department begins.
PSA Organiser visits
The PSA is committed to ensuring your union is with you every step of the way while we all deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 31 March 2020, we will be holding regular meetings remotely. Members will continue to receive your meeting notices as normal and can contact the PSA Organiser through the details provided. We also encourage staff who are working at home to join in during their lunch break, it is important at a time like this that we remain connected.
The PSA Membership Support Centre, Delegates and Industrial staff are still working for members at this time, whether it be in the workplace or from home.
Your PSA contacts are:
Membership Support Centre 1300 772 679