It’s been another busy term and you are all due a very well earned holiday over the next few weeks.
Throughout the year the PSA meets with Departmental representatives, usually twice a term, to raise issues that are important to members. Below is a wrap up of the key issues we have been working on for members this term.
PSA Pushes for Decision Makers to Attend
To ensure that consultative meetings are useful and deliver genuine outcomes the PSA has requested that senior decision makers from the Department of Education attend on a regular basis to give departmental overviews, facilitate genuine consultation and provide responses to key issues.
SAP Payroll changes/ WBSIO
PSA Delegates and Industrial Staff met with the Department last week to continue consultation regarding the WBS IO Coding Solution.
The Department advised of three ‘fixes’ to be implemented, specifically to resolve issues related to Multiple Position Single Assignment personnel, higher duties and duplicate entry of WBS IO allocations.
The Department had previously committed to ‘fixes’ being implemented as a result of our work ban in early May, with an update on status to be provided by 26 June. When we questioned the Department regarding the implementation date of ‘fixes’, PSA was advised that the issues currently remain under investigation.
We also raised with the Department further examples of system deficiencies and reporting discrepancies including, in some cases where although WBS IO allocations had been saved they had failed to be included on the SAP Employee Level Salary Cost Report; inaccurate percentages allocated to some WBS IO elements; as well as the continuing problems in relation to staff on maternity leave and the inability to allocate WBS IO elements to casual work performed.
Members have reported to the PSA that training and EdConnect advice has been inconsistent, and subsequently not all staff were considering the total number of hours worked over a casual pay period when calculating WBS IO percentage allocations. Consequently, our delegates expressed concern and questioned the Department regarding the inaccuracy of reporting and End-of-Financial Year position in schools.
The PSA reported to the Department the impact of this inadequate system on the health and wellbeing of our members, sharing examples of the length of time taken to record details of casual salaries requiring WBS IO allocations, calculating the allocation percentages and then of course the considerable ‘wait’ time experienced after validating and saving entries.
We reinforced that the current situation and additional workload resulting from the WBS IO that has been placed upon our members is totally unacceptable.
Whilst appreciative of the minimal additional funding provided by the Department to support school administrative staff with WBS IO related work, the PSA emphasised that the current state of affairs was not sustainable.
The Department advised that a response in writing to the above issues will be communicated to PSA within two weeks. The PSA is strongly considering all available options in relation to this issue, including the unreasonable and unnecessary work health and safety implications for members, and are ready to vigorously take them up if the Department’s response is not adequate.
Increasing Violence in Schools and Incident Reporting
The PSA has reported its concerns about the increasing incidence and severity of school violence and its management and asked the Department to identify what it is doing to deal with this. The Department has committed to respond.
We have also provided input on the draft and final draft Policy and Procedures. The Policy now provides clearer guidance on what should be reported, including psychological injury; and what is an appropriate response.
Members are reminded to always report the matter to the Incident Report and Support Hotline on 1800 811 523.
Make sure you keep a record of the incident number you will be given when you report the incident. It is vital that there is a record of these incidents. The PSA is here to assist you in these matters. It is much easier if previous incidents are recorded.
Payment for additional hours
SAS Staff members who have been working additional hours (up to 7 hours a day) before overtime rates apply have been paid at a lower rate than they previously received prior to the introduction of the new SAP system.
The Department has identified a gap in the design of the system and are working to resolve it, any further additional hours worked will be paid at the higher rate. We expect to hear back from the Department shortly about when the changes will be implemented and members affected will receive back-pay.
Temporary Employment for SAS Staff
The PSA continues to raise its concerns about the inappropriate employment of staff as short-term temporary staff, and how this is monitored. The PSA is fighting for more secure work for temporary staff and will continue to raise this both individually and collectively on behalf of members. If you believe you may be employed incorrectly contact the PSA for further advice.
The Department has committed to providing a response to the PSA on this issue.
Tax – PAYG Payment Summary
Anyone who was placed onto the new SAP HR Payroll System after the 1 July 2018 will receive 2 different Payment Summaries from the Department. Make sure you wait until you have both tax statements prior to submitting your tax return.
The first will be your Payment Summary from SAP that will include all your pay from the date you started on the new SAP HR Payroll System.
The second one will be available from 14 July and will include all your pay under ESS from 1 July 2018 until you started on SAP.
Hearing dates for the arbitration of the PSA’s claim have been set down for four weeks before a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), from 14 October to 8 November 2019.
The first part of the process is conciliation where the PSA and DoE attempt to find areas of agreement. This was set down for 28 June was conducted by Commissioner Murphy. Further conciliation has been scheduled for 22 July.
The PSA will be holding meetings for members to hear more about the case in the coming months so keep your eye out for one near you.
Professional learning – Non-teaching staff in schools (PLNTS)
Thank you to members who provided the details of their concerns about the Professional learning and the conferences held throughout Term 2. PSA delegates and staff met with Departmental representatives on several occasions, most recently on 26 June to discuss how they were going to respond to these matters. Below is an outline of the feedback we have received from members which has been put to DoE for response.
Issues include schools not being aware of changes to training delivery – this includes principals not being aware of staff participation requirements including working parties; SAS and non-teaching staff not knowing/understanding how training delivery has changed, and the lead-time for developing/ publishing/ communicating training programs
The PLNTS team has committed to providing further information to principals and communications through SchoolBiz, particularly regarding the links to the training tile, and to provide more information when courses are advertised about additional/alternative times and venues. The training calendar will be updated at the beginning of each term. Staff will be encouraged to share information through collegial networks.
- Determination of Training Needs
Frustration with current processes includes the operation of working parties and the poor quality of consultation occurring within them. The PLNTS team has committed to providing further information about staff backfilling and minute taking. The PSA has requested further information about how specific training to ‘do the job’ is being determined and provided, and how this is being linked to capabilities and PDP processes. More relevant training for GAs was identified and requested.
- Equity of Access to Training
The PSA advised that there appears to be an imbalance in the current training offerings, and that specific groups need to be catered for or included eg: short term temporary staff, science related professional development, SLSOs and SAOs.
Recording of student absences
The Department has now made changes to the system for recording absences and is making arrangements for a demonstration to be provided to the PSA in term 3.
The PSA also reminds members in primary schools not to record absences, including partial absences. This is the responsibility of the classroom teacher.
School Leadership Strategy
The Department undertook to consult with the PSA about review and monitoring of this strategy and the PSA has asked when the Department will have discussions with us in accordance with this commitment. DoE advised that the item falls now under the overarching staffing methodology review process. PSA requested a copy of the outcomes of the review of the school leadership strategy and will continue to ensure genuine consultation on the staffing methodology review.
The following issues were raised with the Department and the PSA is awaiting their response.
- Enrolment requirements – The PSA has provided comment on the Department’s draft Policy and Procedures. The Department is consulting separately on the Online Enrolment Policy Pilot.
- Employment of Business Managers – The PSA has identified issues arising out of the insecure employment of Business Managers. The Department is to respond.
- Electronic Inductions – The PSA is seeking to have its content incorporated in a suitable form. This is unresolved.
- NSW Government Sector WHS Plan – The PSA requires a briefing on the status and planning on the Department’s objectives.
Upcoming meeting dates for 2019