On Tuesday 3 December your PSA delegates and Industrial staff met with management at the Joint Consultative Committee. These committees are held quarterly and are a chance for your union to bring issues to management and to hear about the plans that will affect you in the future. If you have a collective issue that you would like raised at the JCC, you should first speak to your local delegate or you can contact your Organiser, Harry Wall on 0418 236 867 or . If you have an individual issue, please call the PSA’s Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.
At the JCC, Management discussed a number of issues, here is a short summary of what they said:
- Visitation, particularly in Western Plains Zoo, has been down due to the bushfires.
- ‘Strategic Planning’ is currently being done on the Zoo’s vision. Management has been engaging Nous, a management consultancy agency, on a new strategic plan as the current one will expire in June 2020. Reports on this plan will be upcoming.
- The Savannah Program has been delayed by a few weeks.
- In Western Plains Zoo, the new capital works project will open in early 2020.
- Management were currently examining the results of the People Matters survey. They identified two major issues of focus, making sure that senior management listens to workers and that recruitment processes are done properly.
- Project Elevate is an attempt to digitise various processes, from Performance Agreements to rosters to sign on processes. There is a change manager for this project.
After management spoke, the PSA raised the following issues:
- Organisational review
There was a review 12 months ago and there is currently a review of the existing structures. The PSA reminded management of the importance of consultation when changes are made to jobs and of their obligations to consult with the PSA under the Consultative Arrangement, Policy and Guidelines.
- Flexible Working Hours
The PSA raised the discrepancy between flexibility for some, but not others. Our members have been reporting that requests for flexibility are not being handled equitably for all. Management disagreed with the premise that some workers are being treated differently to others and said that they were, in fact, very flexible when it came to working conditions.
If you feel management is not being flexible when they should be, or is imposing conditions on you or your colleagues that are not in line with the Award, tell your local delegate or your Organiser at .
- Air pollution policy
The PSA raised the impact that the recent bushfires and extreme weather conditions have had on members in both zoos. The PSA will continue to advocate for clear and coherent guidelines when it comes to workers’ safety.
- Barriers and correct role grading
There was a broad discussion on the issue of soft barriers and when workers are, and are not, being progressed through increments. If you have an example of not being put up an increment when you believe that you or a colleague should have been, contact the PSA.
The PSA asked, “How many ongoing keeper positions are currently filled by casuals and temporary staff.” Management informed us that there is only one vacant apprentice role, which is being recruited, at the moment. Apart from this, all substantive positions have been filled. If this is the case, the PSA questioned, why are so many people in casual keeper positions across the zoo? The PSA then requested a contemporary Organisational Chart.
- Weekend work arrangements
The PSA has calculated how much leave keepers are entitled to as a result of weekends being worked. If you would like to hear or understand these calculations, contact your PSA delegate Claudia Bianchi and she will help you out.
- Volunteers and students
The PSA brought up concerns that students and volunteers are doing the work of paid staff. Management said students and volunteers are not doing the tasks of regular workers. They also said that, due to the inconsistent patterns of students and volunteers, this regular work would not be given to them. The union and management did not agree on this issue. If you have specific examples of volunteers or students doing tasks that should be done by workers like yourself, please contact the PSA.
The PSA wants to meet, talk to and join every worker who we cover within the zoo. The PSA asserted our right to be present at inductions so that all workers can hear about their union and what we do for members.
- BBQ dates and union meetings
The PSA will be arranging barbeques at both zoos in early 2020. Everyone will be invited. We will also be having union meetings on a bimonthly basis. Room bookings are currently being arranged with management and exact dates and locations will be sent to members in January 2020.
- Skills Book
The Skills Book is currently being worked on. Our delegates will be following up on this matter.
Not a member? Join today at www.psa.asn.au.