Senior Officials from the PSA recently met with the Minister for Health, Hon Brad Hazzard to discuss issues of concern to our members.
We advised the Minister that our members in the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) had concerns about the culture and the workloads.
The Commissioner advised the Minister and the Union that a lot of work was being done within the Commission to improve the culture. Our response to this was this message and evidence of this had not been provided to the PSA and that our members were still not noticing any changes.
The union welcomes the increase in funding to the HCCC that should reduce workloads for staff. We congratulate members and delegates for constantly raising the workload issue and we are sure your agitation and the statistics made a big contribution to this increase.
The PSA is determined to ensure that all changes in the workplace are consulted with staff and the union as is required by the award. Please keep us informed of changes so that we can ensure proper consultation.
This increase in resources is an example of what can be achieved by the vigilance of members and their union in support.
HCCC finally comes to the table on consultation
As members would know, the HCCC Executive proposed significant organisation and technological change on 4 June. Over the past month, the PSA has met several times with members that will be immediately impacted by the changes.
It is clear that a number of recommendations recently generated by consultants from the ICT review, will impact the Commission’s operations across all divisions, promising to improve process efficiencies through e-complaints, relieve workloads, improve website and data security, improve timeframes for customer outcomes and provide more reliable data for the Commission’s reporting compliance.
PSA raises concerns with HCCC, pushes for genuine consultation
The Association has communicated to the HCCC executive that the proposed changes and their impacts are ‘a matter of mutual concern and interest’ to our members captured by the Crown Employees (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 (NSW) clause 65; and as such, consultation is required before and throughout any planned implementation phases.
The PSA wrote to the Commission to require immediate commencement of meaningful consultation over the initial impacts to the ICT team roles and responsibilities, and the process for recruitment of new roles.
The PSA also advised the HCCC executive that they are required to provide a change management plan, in respect of the proposed organisational and technological changes.
Senior HCCC executive staff commit to attend JCCs
The PSA met again with HCCC executive management on 25 June and reiterated the importance of consultation. The PSA reminded HCCC that the Industrial Relations Commission is likely to share our view and would require them to consult. The PSA will continue to work to establish and maintain a positive working relationship between the Commission and the Association so that we can resolve issues of concern to our members.
At the Joint Consultative Committee meeting on 2 July 2019, we welcomed the presence of the Commissioner, Sue Dawson. Also in attendance and Executive Director, Complaints Operations, Tony Kofkin, and Acting, Director Legal Services, Jane Probert, who both undertook to continue to attend further JCCs, to provide a direct line of communication and further information to the association from the respective divisions.
In the spirit of consultation, the Health Care Complaints Commission has provided the Association with the following documents:
- An ICT Change Implementation and Communication Plan
- HCCC Budget 2019/20
- HCCC Culture Plan 2017 ongoing
- HCCC Workload metrics as at start of June 2019
- HCCC Current Flexible Work Arrangements Policy (soon to be reviewed in consultation with the Association)
The Association has been given an undertaking by the Commissioner, that proactive consultation with the Association will characterise communications concerning all proposed organisational changes and implementation plans in the future.
The Association looks forward to an ongoing cooperative relationship with the Health Care Complaints Commissioner and the HCCC executive, for the benefit of PSA members.
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