Trustee and Guardian Update
As you know, the PSA has been fighting the NSW Government’s mean-spirited cuts.
Last August, the PSA lodged a dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to seek genuine consultation in relation to the proposed Business Case, which was subsequently released on 12 October 2015.
Since then there have been several appearances in the IRC in relation to the draft HR Transition Plan and the Business Case, as well as ongoing meetings with management.
During this process, the PSA has indicated its opposition to office closures and job losses. The issues debated are:
The IRC noted the PSA’s concerns regarding job losses and has recommended no-one be forcibly deprived of their employment until the completion of the pilot. The PSA will continue to oppose job cuts.
The PSA notes there has been a reversal in relation to some decisions in the Business Case, with the Broken Hill and Bathurst offices remaining open. The PSA notes additional cuts are being made elsewhere in the Business Case. The PSA will continue to oppose office closures.
There is now substantial agreement in relation to the recruitment processes:
- An expression-of-interest process to accommodate direct appointment at wherever grade possible
- A simpler recruitment processes than the one proposed by NSW Trustee and Guardian
- Simplified priority assessment at each grade level, moving from Grade 11/12 downwards
- Internal promotional opportunities at each level of recruitment for unfilled positions
- Agreed support and training to assist staff during this process.
Clerk Grade 1-2
The PSA notes that Trustee and Guardian decided, without consultation, to delete most of the Clerk Grade 1-2 positions and below from the organisation.
The PSA has identified there are Clerk Grade 1-2 staff working at a higher level. The PSA has requested NSW Trustee and Guardian look at these positions and undertake a regrading process prior to recruitment. This matter is being discussed with management.
The PSA invites feedback from any staff at
Grade 1-2 or below who believe they fit this category. Please see below for delegate contacts.
The PSA has requested management proactively identify redeployment opportunities across Justice and the public sector prior to general advertising, and to assist staff with targeted training. The PSA wants staff to be priority assessed for vacant roles.
The PSA is also identifying redeployment opportunities in other government agencies, and communicating this information to management. The support strategies for staff during this process are reflected in the draft Human Resources Transition Plan. Read the latest management version HERE
The PSA has requested that prior to any recruitment process, management convert long-term temporaries and staff acting in higher duties on a long-term basis to ongoing roles.
Management has indicated it will not convert staff to ongoing roles where appropriate, a position which is inconsistent with many other government agencies.
The position of management is staff who have been acting in a temporary role for more than
12 months will be able to apply for positions along with ongoing staff, a process which is contained in Rule 23 of the GSE.
Read the GSE Rules HERE
The advantage of the PSA approach is that staff on higher duties, who are unsuccessful in the recruitment process, will be able to seek redeployment on a priority assessment basis at the higher grade, thereby maximising redeployment opportunities. This is especially important given Trustee and Guardian has decided to delete so many lower-graded positions from the organisation.
The PSA is extremely disappointed there has been no agreement on this issue, and believes management should assist all staff as much as it possibly can.
This issue was discussed at the IRC hearing on
21 December and the Commission did not make recommendations that long-term temps or people acting in higher duties be converted. However, the PSA will continue to press this issue and requests any member who may be affected to contact the union. See below for delegate contacts.
Management has advised it will not introduce an upfront VR package, as it needs to retain as many skilled staff as possible to assist in the transition.
The PSA’s first priority is to fight for jobs. However, the PSA is continuing to press Trustee and Guardian to offer upfront VRs where appropriate.
The PSA position is also that staff acting in higher duties on a long-term basis should be eligible for redundancies at the higher rate. Management initially resisted this position, but agreed just before Christmas.
Pilot and workload
At the IRC, the PSA raised strong concerns about the current workload and the success of the pilot. Due to these concerns, Commissioner Newall is now overseeing the pilot and ongoing consultation will occur during the course of the pilot.
The PSA met with management recently about the beginning of the pilot and there is ongoing discussion about the monitoring of the pilot. A further bulletin will come out shortly about this.
What you can do
Continue to be engaged in the communication process and advise your PSA delegates of any concerns you have.
Paul Gavin Robin Turnham
Martin Armstrong Peter Edgtton
Heather Stephenson Christine Edmondson