The PSA has filed a dispute into the restructuring of Victims Services. In particular, there have been wholesale changes to reporting lines, the merging of roles to form new team structures and roles deleted.
The PSA raised the matter of these manifest changes at the Joint Consultative Committee meeting between the Association and the Commissioner of Victims’ Rights on 27 August 2020. The Commissioner expressed she was unaware of her obligation to consult and kept referring to the “threshold” which would trigger consultation with the Association. Further, the Commissioner of Victims’ Rights stated there was no point undertaking consultation as the decisions had already been made by VS. The PSA disputes that these changes have been lawfully made by the agency.
The PSA is concerned about the flagrant breach of Award conditions. The PSA is also concerned the Commissioner of Victims’ Rights appears to have little regard for and little awareness of her obligations under the Award. This inclination to avoid consultation with the Association is evident in other aspects such as how the agency manages sick leave, flex leave provisions and most notably in the organisation’s avoidance of consultation around the VS Connect Modernisation Project and recent service delivery changes.
Members have expressed to the PSA that this absence of consultation afforded to them is symptomatic of the broader cultural and leadership issues at the agency. In 2018, the then Department of Justice conducted an extensive investigation into workplace culture and the former VS agency head subsequently left her role. Although the report was finalised more than a year ago, members express that they have not experienced any significant improvement in workplace culture despite participating in the investigation.
If members would like further information about consultation, the Government’s Consultation guidelines can be found HERE.
Members will be updated once the matter has gone before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
Your PSA staff
What can you do?
Encourage your colleagues to join the PSA online at: membership.psa.asn.au/register