Transition to Liquor and Gaming NSW – not an easy path for members
The NSW Government is in the later stages of establishing Liquor and Gaming NSW (L&G NSW) and the Office of Racing.
Since last year, the PSA has been listening to members and raising your concerns about the process with the Executive of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA).
Our prior bulletin which outlines some PSA wins can be found at HERE
An upfront voluntary redundancy (VR) process was conducted and the PSA understands that around 75 staff have now accepted a VR as a result. That is, around one third of overall staff. This signals a major life change for many of our members and underlines the scale of change that can occur in these sorts of ‘spills and fills’.
The recruitment process for roles in L&G NSW has progressed and some staff already know the outcomes of their Stage 1 applications.
The PSA has repeatedly raised concerns that only Stage 1 is restricted to internal staff for ‘at-grade’ applications. Stage 2 covers internal staff and external applicants for remaining roles. An additional internal round after Stage 1 would have been consistent with the Agency Change Management Guidelines and the Deputy Premier will be made aware of this.
Some members have missed out on securing jobs at their current grade.
The PSA is disappointed that some staff have not been successful in Stage 1 in securing a role at their current grade. The PSA understands that 18 staff across Grades 11-12 to 5-6 are in this situation. Outcomes for other grades have not been finalised yet.
Although these staff may apply in Stage 2 they will be competing against external applicants. Staff failing to secure a role in Stage 2 are likely to be declared excess.
Some members alerted us to the fact that they only found out they were not successful in Stage 1 by email. And they were not automatically offered feedback.
The PSA met with management on 19 February 2016 on a range of current issues affecting members.
We argued strongly that face-to-face communication on the outcomes of recruitment and discussion of an individual’s options is part of a basic level of respect for staff who do not secure roles at Stages 1 or 2.
Staff who have been committed and long serving public servants apparently don’t warrant the basic courtesy of face-to-face communication as time is tight. In the face of PSA objections, management stood by its approach.
Management has said it will provide feedback to staff on how they performed in the assessment if staff request this.
The PSA will be tracking the outcomes of this process
The PSA regrets that many members will cease employment in the NSW Government as a result of this reform. We will closely examine what the formation of L&G NSW has meant for our members including to what extent redeployment was successful for interested staff.
We have advocated for fair treatment of Grade 1-2 and General Scale staff given there are not roles at these grades in the new structure. Reassignment options have been discussed with the reform team. But it remains to be seen if staff in this situation who want to continue in the NSW public service will be able to do so.
The PSA had advised management that we will track the equity of outcomes from the creation of L&G NSW, such as any reduction in the number of positions that have flexibilities such as part-time hours.
The future of the Newcastle Office remains unclear and the staff who do secure roles there face protracted uncertainty about their employment. We will continue to advocate for these members.
The PSA will advocate for quality transition arrangements to L&G NSW including appropriate training and support as members move into new roles.
What happens next?
PSA staff and delegates will be holding further meetings with members to better understand the issues in this late stage of the reform process. We will continue to engage with management on collective and individual matters.
Many of the staff who will or may leave OLGR and ILGR are still working at the moment with an anticipated exit date for most in May 2016. During our visits the PSA wants to hear your stories and we can offer some advice on your next steps.
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 issues with your delegates
Delegates and PSA contacts
- Delegate: Stephen Jackson OLGR
- Alternative – Stephen Thomas
- Delegate: Jamie Paras OLGR (Newcastle)
- Delegate: Mark England – ILGA
- Alternative – Luke Freeman
- Organiser – Heather Smith
- Industrial Advocate – Paul Townsend
- Industrial Advocate – Kate Lawrence-Haynes