Following an industrial dispute, your union has achieved the removal of CCTV surveillance cameras from office premises in Police HQ (PHQ). This is an important victory for staff in PHQ and for all staff whose job does not require surveillance for legitimate security purposes.
This outcome was only possible due to our strong membership in PHQ.
The Police Force is piloting a new office fit-out on Level 7 of PHQ. The intention is to then roll out the new fit-out to the entire PHQ building, so the pilot arrangements will eventually affect everyone.
Shortly after moving into the pilot floor a few weeks ago, PSA members noticed that there were video cameras operating in the personal locker area. Following complaints, the cameras were temporarily disabled while steps were taken to ensure compliance with legal requirements. On 9 November, staff were notified that the cameras would soon be reactivated after staff had been properly notified and appropriate signage installed.
Your union was never told of the cameras over the course of a lengthy consultation process. It appears that management of the business units deployed to the pilot floor were as much in the dark as the union. Management claimed the cameras were necessary to protect staff and assets, but the arguments did not stand up to scrutiny.
The PSA lodged an industrial dispute in the Industrial Relations Commission and represented members before Commissioner Webster in a Compulsory Conference on 12 November. After some discussion, the Police agreed to meet with the PSA to discuss our concerns and the matter was stood over for two weeks.
The very next day, contractors were observed removing the cameras. This appears to be the end of the matter and, if so, it is a great outcome. The PSA has already received congratulations from staff, including senior police officers, for the efforts of the PSA and its delegates in pursing this matter.
Representatives from the PSA will be at PHQ on 17 November from 7:30am-1:00pm near the coffee cart (on the boulevard level) if you have any questions, or have colleagues who want more information on joining the PSA.