The Service NSW Joint Consultative Committee Meeting was held on 21 May 2020, the following is a report back to members on the issues discussed at that meeting.
Phased return to Driver Testing
The PSA has been involved in ongoing discussions with the Department around Driver Testing and COVID – 19. While the current restrictions to only essential testing are in place discussion is now about how to return safely.
At this time, it is proposed to have a four phased approach to resuming Driver Testing starting from 1 June 2020 which, in brief will be:
- Restore all Heavy Vehicle Testing
- Cancelled Driving Tests rescheduled (1800 tests)
- Overseas License Holder Testing
- Full testing resumed
The proposed phasing will allow for Service NSW to either accelerate or pause between the phases depending on the situation.
In addition to the proposed phased return, current ongoing controls and PPE will continue for Driver Testers, that is the requirement for applicants to provide health statutory declarations, provision of disposable seat covers, face masks and gloves for DT’s.
The Department is also looking to use the COVID-19 app to assist with increased notification if an applicant were to later test positive to COVID-19.
Driver Testers who are at ‘high risk’, will continue on alternative duties.
There will also be the addition of a further 50 temporary Driver Tester roles for a period of at least 6 months to assist with the backlog in testing which is currently estimated at 32,000 tests.
The PSA has made representations to Service NSW to progress the appointment of the Customer Service Representative/Driver Tester to full-time Driver Tester/CSR roles and it was confirmed at the JCC that an EOI for those roles had been sent out to staff.
COVID – 19
As with the return to Driver Testing, the focus now in response to COVID – 19 is how and when those Service NSW staff who are working from home can safely resume to work.
It is expected for the time being that all current Work from Home arrangements will be extended as an attempt by the Government to take some pressure off public transport systems.
In addition to this, there are a large number of factors that also need to be taken into consideration such as maintaining safe social distancing within the workplace, for example lift capacity, foyer/reception areas and ‘hot-desking/ABW/etc’, just to name a few all need to be coordinated.
The PSA also wants to emphasise to those members who have WFH arrangements due to medical reasons that these will continue until the health advice changes.
Members are reminded that if they are having any issues in relation to needing work from home arrangements or any other COVID – 19 related work issue, such as the provision of adequate PPE equipment, they can contact the PSA for further assistance.
In response to the additional workload that COVID-19 has seen in Service NSW a temporary engagement for an initial 6 months for an additional 1000 temporary staff in a range of roles will be deployed across Service NSW.
The Department reported that there over 400 new staff in these roles, a number of these are engaged with providing additional hygiene services in Service Centres.
Customer Engagement Integration (CEI)
Following the creation of the Department of Customer Service (DCS) in 2019 the Department undertook a review across the entire Department with a view to areas which could be moved into Service NSW.
The outcome of that review was that a substantial part of the Revenue and Fair Trading Contact Centres were to be transitioned to Service NSW.
Affected staff from those areas have been made offers which close on 21 May 2020. At the finalisation of the CEI staff who have accepted the offer will be transferred to roles within Service NSW under the Service NSW Salaries and Conditions Award.
There is no impact on any existing Service NSW staff as a result of the CEI and the PSA will look to how we amend our Delegate structures to incorporate those members coming from Revenue and Fair Trading into our Service NSW Delegate structures.
Customer Concierge Operator/ Customer Service Representative (Contact Centres) Dispute
The Department has assured the PSA that we will be provided with a formal response by 22 May 2020.
The Department has looked to improve access to HDA for CCO’s undertaking CSR work through providing additional CSR numbers for managers to use and allowing for a pro-rata HDA for staff who have shared CCO/CSR for the CSR portion of their work.
Following the Departments formal response, the PSA will report back in full to members as to our position in relation to this dispute.