State Emergency Services Industrial Bulletin – 2 March 2015
Payment of Overtime – Grade 8 + $1
Further to advice in our last newsletter, the DC and PSA have been successful in having this error rectified. The error occurred when the Service implemented the conditions of the State award, which are contrary to the SES Region Controllers Award.
We have secured back pay from September 2012, for Region Controllers and acting Region Controllers, who performed operational overtime during this period. Payment has also been made to former staff members who have since left the Service.
The DC urges all staff who were in the role of Region Controller, and who performed operational overtime, between September 2012 and January 2015 to check your payslips. Adjustment for any identified underpayment was included in the pay of 29 January 2015.
If you think you are entitled to an adjustment please contact payroll or one of the DC delegates to discuss.
Government Sector Employment Act (GSE) implementation
The DC has advised management of the substantial concerns of staff regarding the Service’s implementation of the GSE. These concerns include:
- Failure to develop and communicate a comprehensive implementation strategy;
- Lack of communication to staff, particularly about the creation and application of talent pools;
- Lack of communication about the implications of the GSE in relation to conditions of employment;
- Unclear procedures on the use of assessment tools and recruitment methodologies.
After much discussion the SES has agreed to the formation of a working group with representation from across the service. At this time the working group consists of the following members:
- Anthony Wright (PSA Acting Industrial Advocate)
- Brooke Anthony
- Jodie Sherlock
- Lorna Calder
- Michael Chesworth
- Michael Langley
- Nicole Harding
- Phil Lalor
The first meeting of the GSE Working Group was held on Wednesday, 11 February 2015.
This is an important opportunity for employees to influence the GSE implementation in the NSW SES. The DC is also actively advocating for the rights of members while working collaboratively with the SES on this critical project.
Audit of award entitlements
The audit of award entitlements is underway and is intended to highlight any errors in the payment of entitlements to NSW SES employees.
The audit is expected to conclude in March at which time a report will be prepared for the Commissioner. The DC is monitoring the outcome and will ensure all known issues are addressed. Please contact one of your PSA delegates if you have any examples or issues around potential underpayment or non-payment of award entitlements.
Functional analysis of Regions
The proposed Region Restructure Review has been placed on hold from 2 February 2015. The DC made representations on the methodology behind the review and the need for a more holistic end-to-end analysis. Commissioner Dent has agreed and as a result the Region Restructure Review request for quotation has been withdrawn. Commissioner Dent has provided advice on the new process to be undertaken which will include evaluation of core SES roles, potential impacts on staff and volunteers and the needs of the community. Some members have raised concerns that the freeze on permanent recruitment in Regions signals that the impending review may not be holistic. The PSA has advised Commissioner Dent of these concerns.
The PSA and Departmental Committee Chair and Deputy Chair will be meeting with Commissioner Dent on 3 March 2015 to discuss this and other current industrial matters affecting members.
Payments to staff Superannuation funds
Following up on the item in the last bulletin, the DC is pleased to advise that the Finance Branch has implemented a process for payment of Superannuation funds to all staff that exceeds the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requirements. Superannuation is paid to member funds on the 5th day of each month, ie super contributions for all pays in January occurred on 5 February 2015. The SES currently exceeds ATO standards of quarterly payments.
The Finance branch is keen to assist staff with any questions or concerns relating to payroll. All members are reminded to regularly check their payslips and seek advice via the email address where necessary.
Journey insurance for PSA members
In 2012, the NSW State Government removed workers’ compensation for injuries suffered while travelling to or from work, except in very limited circumstances. Financial members of the PSA are automatically covered for journey injuries, with an insurance policy that can provide salary compensation with weekly injury benefits – 85% of salary up to $1,500 for up to 104 weeks (up to 26 weeks for members 66 to 70 years of age).
A fourteen day excess applies. Unlike workers’ compensation our policy covers members to 70 years of age.
United we bargain, divided we beg
The NSW SES is currently undergoing significant organisational and cultural change.
Join the PSA now to ensure your rights are protected. Union membership is tax deductable.
You can join online at https://membership.psa.asn.au/join/