Over the past two months, the PSA has met with management and members at Lithgow, Cessnock and Mid North Coast correctional centres. While these negotiations have continued, the PSA has won the agreement of Corrective Services NSW to suspend the directions restricting the working hours of Offender Services and Program (OS&P) staff at each centre.
The meetings have helped the PSA identify the issues that prompted each centre to attempt to restrict OS&P working hours. In consultation with our members, we have made proposals to address these matters.
The PSA successfully negotiated a favourable outcome at Lithgow CC, where staff and management have committed to work together to ensure adequate service provision at the centre. This result is a model of the success of consultation in resolving issues at a local level.
However, management at Cessnock CC and Mid North Coast CC have rejected the PSA’s proposals. They appear committed to the restriction of working hours as the only solution to the issues raised.
We have sought the further assistance of the Industrial Relations Commission and the dispute has been listed for intensive conciliation at Newcastle on 4 June 2015. To date, the PSA has negotiated in good faith. We see this as a final effort to resolve the dispute by negotiation.
If the conciliation is not successful, we will ask the Industrial Relations Commission
to refer the matter for a hearing and
a binding determination. We expect this determination will have an impact on the operation of the Flexible Working Hours Agreement for all Non-Custodial staff at Corrective Services NSW.
What can I do?
This issue has provided members at Lithgow, Cessnock and Mid North Coast Correctional Centres with an opportunity to re-energise their Workplace Groups with the help of committed PSA Organisers.