TfNSW: COVID-19 consultation

As last reported to members on 26 March 2020 HERE, TFNSW and unions meet weekly for a briefing from the TfNSW Secretary and COVID-19 Taskforce.

On 3 April the latest issues were reported.

Two employees and seven contractors across the Transport cluster have tested positive prior to 3 April and have been placed in isolation.

Unfortunately, a long-term employee contracted the virus whilst on extended leave and passed away overseas. Condolences have been relayed to family and work colleagues by the Secretary and endorsed by union representatives on 3 April.

Transport for NSW has established reporting lines for staff in relation to issues around the COVID-19 Taskforce management and the agency’s response.

Contact lines

  • For reporting incidents and confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), call 1800 091 966 (24 hours) immediately (Incident Management Team).
  • For general enquiries call 133 877, Mon-Sun 7am-7pm

Issues raised by the PSA

Effective Consultation The PSA expressed its displeasure at not being immediately notified that operational team members at the TMC Eveleigh had to be relocated to an alternative Sydney metro location on 28 March. This was due to a staff member testing positive. Whilst this makes good sense for Health, Safety and Operational reasons, it is unacceptable that the union has to rely on a member calling the PSA whilst seeking advice regarding the transfer of work location, to be notified of this incident. Hopefully the penny has dropped with senior management that we are all in this together and that effective regular consultation will assist PSA members in maintaining NSW Transport Services.

Pool cars TfNSW has advised that sanitisation stations have been established for pool cars and members picking up keys will be issued with sanitisation packs and issued instructions on vehicle use during the pandemic.

Field work A number of Operational members have raised the issue of essential work during the pandemic. This work often results in staff working away from headquarters or home. The PSA has requested advice as to what is essential and what work can be deferred until the pandemic has been downgraded or resolved. With the Government ordering citizens to not travel unless essential or authorised, the PSA wants this clarified as regional and remote communities have been pushing back when non-locals visit their town. If you are unsure, raise the issue with your manager or contact the PSA.

Working from home TFNSW has advised there has been a tenfold increase in staff working from home to more than 10,000 individuals. Priority has also been given to vulnerable workers to either work from home or other work locations. If this is not possible other leave arrangements are being offered by TfNSW. Any members seeking further advice should speak with their manager or contact the PSA.

Evolving Transport Members would be aware the design phase of this restructure process commenced in February 2020 following extensive team and staff consultations. TfNSW at the 27 March COVID-19 briefing advised Transport unions that the process is now on hold due to the pandemic. This decision follows unions requesting the process be deferred due to uncertainty around ongoing workplace activity and community health concerns. Senior management will now review the Stage 1 analysis and mapping process and arrange a meeting with unions to discuss this review and when the process may recommence. PSA members will be aware of a recent PSA member survey on the Evolving Transport consultation between TfNSW management and members. This feedback is being collated and will be subject to a separate bulletin to members.

Future Workplaces initiative Members will have been advised that the Future Workplaces initiative, where many staff will be relocaed to other worksites in the Sydney Metro area, has also been placed on hold due to the pandemic. The first of the relocations was for staff moving to Macquarie Park. TfNSW will advise unions and members of the restart date for the workplace relocations prior to the restart date.

Sydney Metro On 26 March the PSA and other union representatives were briefed by Sydney Metro management of measures put in place to protect staff in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sydney Metro reported that more than 70 per cent of staff were being accommodated with Flexible Working arrangements (from home). Other measures, such as social distancing at work, video conferencing, and hand-sanitising stations, have been implemented in workplaces.

Ongoing consultation across the Transport for NSW cluster agencies Unions and management will continue to operate Consultative Committees via video and other conferencing technologies.

If PSA members have any urgent issues or concerns which have not been able to be resolved through TfNSW established contact lines or local management, please contact the PSA Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679 or membersupport@psa.asn.au.

Please stay safe.

Greg Shaw Senior Industrial Officer gshaw@psa.asn.au

Ben James Organiser Transport Cluster bjames@psa.asn.au  

 

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