Situation Report - Public Service Association

Situation Report

To all PSA members

As members are painfully aware, individual and collective member needs are increasing due to this Government’s escalation of restructures, privatisation, performance management, badly supported IT projects and targeting of conditions.

These attacks are unprecedented in NSW public service history and have also resulted in massive work overload for many members.

In addition, the NSW Government has changed the way it manages staff through the GSE Act and the creation of the Public Service Commission.

This means that the PSA and its staff have had to adapt to these changed circumstances and adopt  different approaches, including developing a proactive media and advertising focus.

The aim of this has been to lift the profile of public sector workers and also raise concerns in the community about the direction the NSW Government is heading with its mass privatisation of public services.

In the last six months, the PSA has had four opinion pieces published in mainstream newspapers on the importance of the work being done by PSA members.

The PSA has also established a Member Support Centre (MSC) in order to service increased member needs.

The MSC allows all members equal access to the PSA and has also resulted in the creation of a comprehensive database of issues.

This database has allowed the PSA to quickly identify emerging issues and to reallocate internal resources. A recent example of this were the hundreds of temporary jobs that were saved as a result of a coordinated and proactive approach taken by the PSA and its members.

In 2015, Advocacy and Case Management Officers in the MSC were the first point of contact for almost 28,000 calls from members.

7,500 cases arising from these calls were managed to completion by the MSC team.

In order for the PSA to continue to focus resources on delivering a positive outcome for the greatest number of members we currently triage calls using the following principles:

  • When members contact the Member Support Centre, our staff will discuss how we can assist to resolve the issue(s) raised.
  • For every issue, the PSA will assess, on behalf of all our members, what can and can’t be done, and what will and won’t be done, in respect to the issue(s).

For example, we cannot assist if the member is not a financial member of the PSA or if the issue arose before the member joined.

  • Importantly, where assistance has previously been requested about the same or a similar issue, or if the member goes against PSA advice, this may affect what assistance the PSA can provide.

Finally, it is recognised that there are still areas where improvement is needed in the way the PSA is working.

However, PSA staff are committed to continuous improvement and to assisting members with the very challenging environment now being faced.

In Unity

Anne Gardiner

General Secretary

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