South Western Sydney Community Services – Realignment - Public Service Association

South Western Sydney Community Services – Realignment

South Western Sydney Community Services Realignment – December 2015 (PDF version)

The PSA is supporting members during a realignment of South Western Sydney Community Services

Management of FACS South Western Sydney Community Services has been undertaking a ‘realignment’ of roles and locations.

Management has advised the PSA that this is related to the Out of Home Care (OOHC) accreditation process. The Office of the Children’s Guardian wants OOHC services delivered from Hub models across the District – there will be two Hub sites at Liverpool and Campbelltown. As part of this exercise, staffing will also be realigned to ensure that child protection resources are aligned with demand.

After we were consulted by management, the PSA strongly advocated for proper consideration of issues facing staff members, especially if they have to move roles or locate.

The PSA has concerns with the speed of the reforms and the outcomes for individuals

The realignment is being undertaken very quickly which produced a very tight consultation timeframe, and limited scope for the PSA to shape the reforms.

Under the Government Sector Employment Act, the employer can relocate staff within their work classification. In this case it means that staff can be moved between locations and roles e.g. from Child Protection to OOHC. But there is to be consultation. Staff were therefore asked to indicate their preferences for location and role to inform decisions on staff re-assignments.

The PSA is concerned that members may face impacts in terms of excessive travel times, childcare issues, changes in access to flexible work practices and some difficulties if they move between roles.

PSA has advocated on collective and individual issues

The PSA has visited all District Community Services Offices to listen to staff concerns. Members and non-members have raised concerns with the PSA.

Various collective and individual issues have been discussed and negotiated with management such as the preference process when people had both a substantive and acting role.

Changes to roles for administrative staff were also investigated as well as other matters such as impacts on temporary staff and staff requiring special consideration.

The PSA made sure that staff were told in person or by phone if they did not receive their preferences. Some staff received only their preference for either role or location and some staff did not receive their preference. The PSA understands that there were more preferences for OOHC roles than available roles.

Staff were able to submit special consideration forms if there were issues with their initial re-assignment. The PSA will assist staff if there are remaining problems with their re-assignment after this process.

We will continue to monitor any issues with implementation of the realignment

The PSA will raise any problems with the final assignment to roles with management to try to secure fair outcomes for members.

With the help of delegates, the PSA will monitor how the realignment is managed including how case handovers are managed, the practicalities of the moves, the appropriate timing given holiday leave and training for people to move from OOHC to child protection etc.

What happens next?

Once the outcome of the special consideration reviews are known, the PSA will assist any member who still has problems with their re-assignment.

Other issues with the realignment can also be raised with delegates and the PSA.

The PSA is also concerned about the broader issue of the workload faced by case workers and will undertake a survey to gather data on any significant pressures that can be raised with management.

What can you do?

  • Print out this Bulletin and put it on your notice board
  • Share it with your colleagues and ask them to join the PSA
  • Get involved by raising any further concerns and preferred solutions with your Delegates

Delegates for the realignment and PSA staff

Delegate         Devitt Simpson

Delegate         Ricky Serna

Industrial Advocate   Kate Lawrence-Haynes

Organiser       Vivette Horrex

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