The current pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for members working in many roles across Youth Justice NSW. Every member should be congratulated and rightly proud of the work they have done in the face of these challenges. You provide a critical service to the state, even if it’s not always as visible to the community as your colleagues in other emergency services.
PSA Industrial Staff and your delegates liaise with the Command Post, including involvement in the daily briefings and teleconferences. Matters should be raised at the local level in the first instance where they not being addressed adequately on a local level then they can be escalated to the command centre YJC19Commandpost@justice.nsw.gov.au.
Social distancing and work practices
Youth Justice has an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, to keep its staff and young people safe and to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure to staff and detainees.
At this time you are not working in a business-as-usual environment and social distancing still needs to be practiced as much as the environment allows. Your work still needs to be done but adaptations need to be made to minimise the risk to yourselves and others. For example, this might include reducing the number of people together in a room at any one time, which would impact how programs and classes are delivered. Every centre is different and we encourage you to work with your fellow members, your local delegates, and local management in addressing these issues appropriately. Per below, feel free to pass on feedback to your local delegates.
Work from home/at-risk members
The PSA is aware that a number of members are more at risk than others due to issues such as health, age, and risk category of dependents. Your union can assist members in accessing suitable arrangements if you are in this category.
Every reasonable effort should be made to provide working from home arrangements for those members. To make this happen as efficiently as possible, you will need a current medical certificate detailing, as clearly as possible, your specific medical risk in continuing to perform your duties at your centre.
Any member requiring individual assistance on this or other matters should contact the PSA’s Member Support Centre in the first instance on 1300 772 769.
The PSA continues to strongly advocate with your senior management for working from home arrangements more broadly where possible with a common sense approach. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all space across the Youth Justice workforce at different centres, so this will inevitably be somewhat ad hoc based on the differing needs of the centre. You are encouraged to have these conversations locally and seek assistance from the PSA where there are unnecessary roadblocks.
Your PSA Industrial Staff
Your PSA Delegates