As a Sheriff Officer you work a 35-hour week. However, for timekeeping, payroll and administrative reasons, the hours of employment reflect 38 hours.
The Department has made an offer to the PSA to align both your work hours and the administrative elements to 35 hours, contingent on there being no cost the department.
In practical terms this would mean:
- your hours are the same
- your pay is the same
- the number of leave days you are entitled to is the same
- your hourly rate will increase.
The change will be around leave
This is because whilst Sheriff’s officers have been working to a 35-hour week since 2001 all leave has been accrued and recorded based on a 38-hour week and then recorded in hours.
The Award states all leave is accrued in days per year and the number of days leave accrued and recorded in an employee’s leave balance and available to that employee will be exactly the same after the hourly conversion as it was before.
The number of hours you are entitled to will change however the number of days will remain the same. Example:
76 hours is the equivalent of 10 days’ leave under a 38-hour week. You will now have 70 hours as 10 days as 35 hours.
Your SOVBAG delegates recommend that you vote yes to the change to a 35-hour week as there are no impacts on Sheriff’s officers pay, hours of work, or number of days’ accrued leave. Complete the survey HERE.
Introduction of new directive on personal safety
Your union, the PSA, is seeking consultation on the directive on personal safety, because it was introduced unilaterally. The issue of consultation is of paramount importance to members and the unilateral issue of new directive is a failure to properly consult.
In relation to the directive concerning the wearing of uniforms, further consultation is needed around the provision of adequate facilities including:
- locker rooms
- suitable change rooms
- ironing facilities
- additional time to prepare equipment and uniform to required standard.
In reference to the Directive, SOVBAG delegates acknowledge the need for safe working measures. However, without any input into or any practical analysis of the directive and the impacts on work, there are a number of concerns:
- This directive is a small aspect of safety and a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of Work Health and Safety relating to Sheriff Officer’s needs to be undertaken. For example, the issuing of ballistic vests for sheriffs is an area of major concern and all information relating to risks and assessments needs to be issued.
- This is a timely opportunity for the department to fulfil its consultation obligations and undertake the preparation or provide once prepared of specific and detailed risk assessments to all duties performed by Sheriff Officers.
The PSA has written to the Department seeking urgent consultation around the issues.
Sheriff’s safety in the workplace
SOVBAG delegates note the issuing of a new policy outlining safety concerns in the workplace is important. This is a small aspect of workplace safety and brings into question other practices that concern members including but not limited to:
- the practice of working single unit scanning
- duress response, patrols and field duties
- performing prisoner escorts and bank escort
- lack of standard operating procedures.
The Department must provide a full, transparent and accurate picture of the landscape, including vulnerability/security risk assessments relating to Sheriffs’ duties and or workplaces.
Sheriffs internal transfer round 2017
The Department has issued a new draft internal transfer procedure. The timeframes given for consultation were far too short and the policy has been implemented. The PSA is concerned about the following:
- the policy excludes some key information
- what happened to the last list and has this been exhausted?
- is the current process of all ranks?
- why is this policy in draft from when the new recruitment process is being undertaken?
- the lack of an ongoing laterally transfers policy.
In the longer term the PSA will be seeking a fair, transparent and equitable ongoing policy however in the interim the PSA will agitate around the lack of consultation.
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!
Your PSA SOVBAG Delegates
Eddie Lia Campbelltown Court
Daniel De La Paz Penrith Court
Stephen Hancock Burwood Court
Tony Morawsky Mt Druitt
Andrew Pierce Parramatta
Jason Kildey Parramatta