Update on the NSW Sheriff’s direction to travel in your own vehicle if directed to work at another court and not be reimbursed.
The Transport in own vehicles Direction has been amended. Read this bulletin for details.
A bulletin was sent to members on 26 March 2018 about the direction to travel in your own vehicle if directed to work at another court and not be reimbursed. That bulletin can be found HERE. We requested members to complete a survey about the direction to travel from their main court to hub courts. We thank the many members who responded to that survey. That survey found members are travelling long distances (up to 150km) from main courts to hub courts in greater Sydney and in regional NSW.
The NSW Sheriff raised her direction with the PSA and SOVBAG delegates at the Joint Consultative Committee on Thursday, 7 June 2018. The NSW Sheriff changed her direction that it does not apply to Sheriff’s Officers arriving at their main courthouse and directed to work at another courthouse. That means if you are required to travel to another courthouse in your own vehicle, or by public transport you will be reimbursed. If you are directed ask your OIC about reimbursement. If your OIC says No! Contact your SOVBAG delegate urgently with your OIC’s telephone number. Your delegate will talk to your OIC on your behalf. If your OIC still says No! Contact PSA and we will contact your Regional Manager.
The PSA strongly advises members to keep a diary of kilometres travelled for each occasion you arrive at your main court and directed to travel to hub court or other court using your own vehicle. If you travel by public transport and use and Opal Card register your card at www.opal.com.au and that will provide details of all trips made. If you don’t use Opal card keep your used tickets.
The NSW Sheriff also stated that the direction still applies to Sheriff’s Officers directed the day before or by roster to work at another courthouse. That means Sheriff’s Officers will not be reimbursed for travelling in their own vehicle from home to that other court house. The NSW Sheriff is basing that on the formation of satellite courts having hub courts. A Sheriff’s Officer is appointed to a satellite court but that appointment also covers the hub courts.
The PSA contends that is an incorrect interpretation of the assignment to role provisions in the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. The PSA also contends that the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009 applies.
The award covers reimbursement of kilometres travelled based on excess travel time. Excess travel equals time travelled from home to other court minus time travelled from home to main court. That excess travel time must be more than 30 minutes in a day. If excess travel time applies keep a log of the kilometres travelled in that excess travel and that is what you should be reimbursed.
The PSA raised no reimbursement of excess travel with the Secretary of Justice at the Peak Consultative Committee on Thursday, 14 June 2018. We raised the NSW Sheriff’s interpretation of the GSE Act and Conditions award that we believe is wrong. The Deputy Secretary of Courts & Tribunal Services advised that the NSW Sheriff is correct. She based on a Determination made by the Industrial Relations Commission in 2004 and 2005 that travel is part of circuit court roles and Justice interpreted the Conditions award correctly.
The PSA has requested the Deputy Secretary to provide that Determination. The PSA is also searching its files for that Determination. We will update members further when we obtain and review that Determination.
The PSA strongly advises members to keep a diary for each occasion you were directed to travel from your home to a court other than your main court. That diary should follow the formula for excess travel. If you travel by public transport and use and Opal Card register your card at www.opal.com.au and that will provide details of all trips made. If you don’t use Opal card keep your used tickets.
Your union will continue to update members on matters affecting Sheriff’s Officers by visiting workplaces.
As always the PSA welcomes members’ feedback. Should you have any questions or comments please contact your delegate firstly and if required the PSA.
Your PSA/SOVBAG delegates are:
Eddie Lia – Campbelltown Court
Daniel De La Paz – Penrith Court
Stephen Hancock – Burwood Court
Tony Morawsky – Mt Druitt
Andrew Pierce – Parramatta
Glen Elliot-Rudder – Wagga Wagga
Jason Woollett – Liverpool Court
Your PSA staff:
Andrew Boulton – PSA Industrial Officer
Kirra Jackson – PSA Organiser
What can you do?
- Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.
- Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.
- Ask a colleague to join the PSA.
- Get involved as your Area Contact
Not a member? Join online – https://membership.psa.asn.au/Register
Members can update their details at – www.psa.asn.au/update-your-details