There are two Awards that our members are subject to in the SES, the Crown Employees (State Emergency Service) State Operations Centre – Continuous Shift Workers Award 2017 and the Crown Employees (State Emergency Service) Region Staff Award 2018.
With regard to the Region Staff Award, the SES has approached the PSA with a proposal to adopt new wording to the Award replacing the term Regions to Zones.
Whilst it seems like a mere administrative change, the PSA and SES delegates of the PSA are reluctant to accept those proposed changes for several reasons including:
- The PSA maintains that such changes are best approached through a proper re-negotiation of the Regional Award, not trying to do this through administrative reviews of the NSW IRC.
- The subsequent restructuring in 2018 is effecting this Award and has been subject to extensive levels of disputation with interpretation still providing considerable levels of angst between members and management on the disagreement of entitlements.
- The change from regions to zones is more profound and changes to the wording of the Award in the terms proposed, provides the SES with an opportunity to re-interpret any such agreement that has been subject to a number of industrial disputes.
- We say changing from Regions to Zones is an attempt to shoe horn the new structures into an agreement that doesn’t fit.
The PSA suggested to the NSW SES that they commit to negotiations on the current Region Staff Award to provide the level of certainty that members are seeking.
One SES PSA member has called the proposed changes as putting lipstick on a pig. It’s seems to be a fair assessment of the situation. It’s most definitely not a lasting or robust that enshrines entitlements. Maybe this is something that the SES wants?
The PSA will update members on the progression of this matter following the 11 August 2021 IRC appearance.
PSA Industrial Staff