Unfortunately, 2021 continues as 2020 ended, with us having to remain ever vigilant to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Service NSW is confident in the measures it has implemented to ensure your safety including extra cleaning, screens, social distancing and masks. However, the PSA is appreciative that this is still a rather unsettling time, particularly when known contacts within centres have occurred.
To date the PSA is aware of two Service Centres – Blacktown and Bankstown – where COVID-19 contacts have been notified by NSW Health. The PSA was in communication with Service NSW management in respect of both of these and is satisfied that the appropriate NSW Health procedures have been followed in all instances.
However, if members do have any concerns in relation to their own personal safety and/or wellbeing they are encouraged to raise these concerns with local management and are always welcome to seek further advice or assistance from the PSA.
For now, all the current arrangements that have been put in place since the pandemic started remain in place, along with mandatory wearing of face masks. Also, a reminder that any staff who are deemed at being of high risk should still have alternative arrangements in place if their normal role is public-facing.
Unauthorised ‘leave guidelines’
The PSA is aware of a number of areas across Service NSW both in the Service and Contact Centres where Managers/Team leaders provide ‘guidelines’ to staff about how and when to take leave.
While the PSA accepts that local management have a considerable task in managing issues such as leave requests, it is always a concern to the PSA when we see these types of communications to members, particularly when there is often incorrect or misleading information.
Please remember, your leave, be it annual, extended (long service), sick or FACS are provided to you through an industrial instrument, that is the Service NSW Salaries and Conditions Award 2018.
In addition to the Award there are then a number of public service policies which assist in providing guidance as to how you access and utilise those entitlements.
Some of the more recent examples that have been brought to the PSA’s attention have been:
- Arbitrary limits on accessing of your leave
- Misinformation on extended leave
- Incorrect information surrounding sick leave.
Please remember the PSA is always there to assist you. If you believe you are not getting the correct advice from your manager with regards to a leave application of any type you should contact the PSA Member Support to double check you are getting the right advice and information.
The PSA also encourages members to send through any ‘guidelines’ they may have received from local management so that we can bring them to the attention of Service NSW. We can then work to ensure consistent and correct procedures apply across all of Service NSW.
Cyber Security Breach
At the last Joint Consultative Committee meeting with Service NSW in 2020, Senior Management acknowledged the impact this has had on staff and their commitment to ensure that those affected staff get the assistance required to address any issues arising from this.
If any affected members are experiencing any difficulty in resolving any matters from this, they are encouraged to contact the PSA so we can escalate it if required.
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