Members in Higher Duties positions are now able to be considered in Steps 1 (Direct appointment), 2 (Pooled assessment) or 3 (Self-matching).
Staff seconded to or acting at a higher level had previously been advised by TAFE NSW they would be considered only at their substantive level in the placement process and that they would have to wait for Step 6 (external merit-based selection) to make a case for the higher level position.
A large number of staff were adversely affected by this. Many have not been in their substantive position for several years and have seen the secondment as a positive career move. Their substantive positions also have mostly been backfilled by temporary assignments.
The PSA (CPSU) made strong representations to TAFE NSW on behalf of these staff to reinforce the feedback the education body was receiving. As a result of this intervention, the Placement Process has now been amended to allow those in Higher Duties positons to be considered at Steps 1, 2 or 3.
The announcement by TAFE NSW is found in the closing paragraphs of the Managing Director’s Weekly Newsletter. The amendment provides that:
Employees acting in a higher duties role may request to be considered at Steps 1,2 and 3 of the Placement Process for their higher duties position. To be eligible, employees must have been acting in higher duties
For those in Finance (Group 1) who may now have their higher duties considered, the People and Safety team will proactively make contact and confidentially discuss whether you would like to be considered at the higher graded position.
We applaud this as a fair and reasonable decision that recognises the productive input of these staff at a higher level over several years. This sets a precedent for future tranches of the One TAFE restructure and indeed more broadly in the public sector.
Your union received a lot of feedback from members to the effect that the placements are being made on the basis of outdated and incorrect job descriptions. The Managing Director also noted that:
The PSA (CPSU) recommends you review your position description and provide your supervisor with a document setting out the omissions and alterations. This can also be relied on during your consultation feedback. Your manager should then consult with your local HR unit to review the PD. If this review is unsuccessful please contact your local delegate and your union will work with you to escalate the matter to TAFE Corporate.
PSA (CPSU) wants to ensure that staff in future groups are not required to make an OPT IN or OPT OUT decision without being fully informed. Whilst TAFE NSW will now allow staff in Higher Duties who meet the criteria to have a choice, they are also saying staff in later groups will have to make a decision in the consultation period. Your union is advocating for a change to this part of the process as well. We expect to be able to provide an update to this in the near future
We recommend if you find yourself in this situation you should avoid making a commitment during the phone interview and contact your local delegate for further advice.
As we work our way through the coming restructures, it is important you have a say and your voice is heard.
You can support the work of the PSA (CPSU) and your local delegates by asking your colleagues to JOIN the CPSU.
Please forward this to your colleagues so that they know what their rights are, and encourage them to JOIN the CPSU.