Thank you to all the members who provided input for our last Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting with the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Michelle Vaughan. A summary of the last JCC meeting with the Commissioner, James Gordon (Human Resources for the Department), and Annette Farrell (of Victims Services) is provided below.
Our next meeting with the Commissioner will be on 21 June 2021. If there are any issues members would like to raise, please contact your local delegate, Nathan Rodrigues or your PSA staff listed below.
People Matters Employee Survey
- The PSA noted that PMES summary results have been presented to almost all teams
- PSA members questioned why the full results were not provided to staff
- Michelle Vaughan confirmed that once all teams have been presented with summary results it will be uploaded on the Intranet and available for further conversations
- Michelle Vaughan advised she wanted to present the key highlights of the PMES results and the work on the issues that were identified
- PSA members raised dissatisfaction about recruitment results. Michelle Vaughan advised recruitment is consistent with the rest of the sector and well above the rest of the cluster
- Michelle Vaughan discussed using talent pools, advertising EOIs, more training and expediting better processes for recruitment
- The PSA was advised that no further resources would be allocated to investigating recruitment issues at this stage, in the absence of specific complaints
- James Gordon noted recruitment varies across areas of the department
- PSA asked about the score of 46 per cent for senior management and questioned what development is being done
- Annette Farrell confirmed the L&D plan for a leadership course through IPAA and other training as part of the Learning and Development Framework
- Michelle Vaughan and Annette Farrell both reaffirmed it is important to focus on the positives of the results given the results form 2019
- The PSA raised concerns that despite slight improvements, PMES scores in key areas are below 2017, 2018 and 2019 results
- The PSA requested to see the PMES results.
Victims Services to provide PMES results to the PSA.
Culture change project
- The PSA asked Michelle Vaughan if any plans for culture change project, such as workshops
- Michelle Vaughan advised there are no plans for the rest of this financial year noting work on values and communication working groups finished late 2020
- Annette Farrell noted that waiting for training needs questionnaires to come to back from staff to build next year’s L&D program
- Annette Farrell confirmed that customer service, vicarious trauma, leadership and departmental mandatory training is in place from now until end of June.
- PSA members are concerned about a restructure. There have been changes of positions and duties as well as taking on more workloads; temporary roles not being filled; and members being asked to explain their workloads
- Michelle Vaughan advised of awareness to consult and to follow an RMP process should there be a restructure
- Annette Farrell advised it is not indicative of any restructure concerns, it is business as usual resourcing of roles so that services can be delivered, however also advised that business is being reviewed in accordance with the impact of 1 July service changes and VS Connect upgrades
- Michelle Vaughan and Annette Farrell both reaffirmed ‘open-door’ policies and advised they encourage staff to approach them with concerns or speak to their line manager.
WFH guidelines and clarification for exemptions
- PSA members raised concerns about the requirements to request exemption from working in the office. The PSA asked how this is separate to requesting a reasonable adjustment according to existing policies in place
- Michelle Vaughan advised that currently the principle place of employment is PJP and staff are required to work from the office four days per fortnight
- Michelle Vaughan advised if staff cannot work from a COVID-safe environment due to a medical reason and perform their duties, then medical advice is sought as to why that is the case
- Michelle Vaughan advised that people with a chronic condition that would prevent them to work from a workplace would likely be under the care of a specialist
- Annette Farrell confirmed seeking evidence from a specialist or treating doctor to determine whether the adjustment is reasonable, depending on the nature of the injury/condition.
- Annette Farrell advised that each person’s case is being considered by senior managers or in some cases referred to HR for assistance
- The PSA reiterated that all decisions on workplace adjustments/flexible arrangements must be made subject to existing DCJ policies including leave, flexible working and reasonable adjustment.
Sick leave process when working from home
- The PSA advised members were required to make a video call while WFH on sick leave
- This comment was clarified as the issue being addressed is staff calling in sick on days when they are meant to be working in the office but saying they are well enough to work from home. The issue is to ensure that if staff are sick that they take sick leave. Annette Farrell advised that the MS Teams chat is for a manager to assess whether the staff member should be working at all if WFH and sick
- PSA asked James Gordon about the updated sick leave policy
- James Gordon advised of new DCJ Leave Policy effective from 17 March that differs from the old Justice policy. James Gordon clarified that in the new policy medical certificates do not need to state the “nature of illness” only that the staff member is unfit to attend work. James Gordon advised that the HR team are reviewing the new policy to identify the differences and will send communications DCJ-wide to inform staff.
Your PSA staff
What can you do?
- Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online at membership.psa.asn.au/register
- Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues
- Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.