There’s so much happening at the Ministry right now! - Public Service Association

There’s so much happening at the Ministry right now!

There’s so much happening at the Ministry right now – June 2018 (PDF version)

PSA members’ meeting report back

Recently your Organiser was on site to discuss what’s happening at the Ministry with you and workshop how we can work together for a better, fairer workplace.

The meeting started with a short presentation from the SCU Credit Union about the fabulous savings it can offer to PSA members. For more information on all our member benefits click HERE.

PSA members then had the opportunity to discuss a range of concerns to do with the move to
St Leonards and other workplace issues including:

  1. The process and transparency of acting opportunities

Acting (HDA) opportunities and the transparency and equity of access to them was raised.  While some positions went through a transparent Expression of Interest process others seemed to be filled on a “who you know” or “tap on the shoulder” type process. Members requested information on what the process for filling HDA opportunities is.

  1. Role descriptions and consultation

Members asked what the process was with role descriptions and whether they could be changed or updated without consultation.

  1. The People Matter Survey

There was some interest in the outcome of the people matter survey and other surveys that had been done to gather staff feedback and test morale. PSA staff reported we use the data from the People Matter Survey to support our work, but that there seemed to be few internal feedback processes about surveys within the Ministry.

The move to St Leonards

  1. The Consultation Process

Members reported that there seemed to be an inconsistency of consultation around the move across the organisation. Some members advised they were given extensive opportunity to give feedback while others felt they had been left in the dark. Even across teams that did similar work and needed similar facilities (such as space to look at large documents or store information for prosecutions) there were huge inconsistencies.

It became apparent throughout the discussion that whether or not you were being properly consulted was dependent on the leadership and focus of your Director or Managers and that some areas were receiving very little information.

Many members felt left in the dark about what and when changes were likely to occur and whether or not their specific requirements had been taken into account.

  1. Equitable access to remote and flexible work

A concern was raised with the way in which access to remote and flexible work would be managed. While members accept that certain areas need to have at least some staff at the office, there was some uncertainty as to how this would be managed and whether equal access to these provisions would be provided.

For information on flex-time and your entitlements read this bulletin HERE.

  1. Reasonable adjustments to workstations

Members raised concerns that specific needs and reasonable adjustments (from injuries or return to work) would not be taken into account. The PSA advised that this must be accounted for and that reasonable adjustments to new furniture and other items would have to be made.

  1. How the neighbourhoods will work

The ‘neighbourhoods’, which are part of the agile workplace, were raised.  Members wanted to know how they would work; how many desks would be provided for each team; how you knew if you could ensure you had a space to work in; and that your day would be productive and not taken up be searching in vain for a desk to occupy.

  1. The change from desktops to laptops

Reasonable adjustments and work, health and safety concerns were raised in relation to the transition to laptops. These ranged from needing ergonomic keyboards to confirmation docking stations would be available.

  1. Volume of meeting rooms for huge increase in co-located staff

While members acknowledged an entire floor had been put aside for meeting rooms, there was some apprehension about whether this would be adequate. The new site at St Leonards will reportedly hold up to 2400 staff and the current small number of planned meeting rooms coupled with the fact that meeting spaces within neighbourhoods would be decreased was highly concerning.

These issues were raised with Human Resources at the Joint Consultative Committee and Sub-Joint Consultative Committee and a report back on these meetings will be distributed to members early next week.

Have any feedback about this bulletin? Contact us at HealthOrganising@psa.asn.au.

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