In this update:
On Wednesday 17 October 2018, your delegates and industrial staff from the CPSU NSW met with Northcott to discuss collective member issues at the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meeting which was held at Parramatta.
The JCC is an ongoing consultative committee where CPSU NSW industrial staff and delegates are able to consult with management on workplace matters of mutual interest in accordance with clearly defined principles in your copied state awards.
CPSU NSW representatives: Trevor Coughran and John Williams, Delegates; Graydon Welsh and Shane Elliott, Officials
Management representatives: Alison Kent; Stefania Morisio; Belinda Magritzer
Team meetings are an invaluable means of sharing current information on clients, staff and house activities and boosting moral and comraderie. They are an opportunity to discuss incidents and events and bring everyone up to speed.
The CPSU NSW raised concerns around the reduction in team meetings from four-hour monthly to either three – hour monthly or four-hour bimonthly. This sometimes includes training and information sessions, both of which are valuable to attend.
Members have raised the insufficient time to cover all the information needed within such a short time frame or with up to eight-weeks between meetings. A lot can change in a Group Home in a shorter period of time.
The CPSU NSW sought clarification on the changes and to raise the impact it has had on teams. Northcott have advised that the decision on the frequency of the meetings is a local decision, to be made by consultation between staff and their Team Leaders.
CPSU NSW strongly urges members to raise this with your Team Leader and let them know that maintaining the four-hourly monthly meetings is important and why. You are entitled to be heard and provided feedback afterwards.
It has been brought to our attention that there has been a change in WH&S officer in Northcott and some changes are occurring. Northcott have agreed to provide further information to the CPSU NSW on the members and terms of reference for consultation and feedback.
A vocal, strong and accountable WH&S Committee is a valuable resource for a safe workplace.
Having an HSR or active WHS person in each Group Home should be encouraged and the CPSU NSW will continue to push for safer workplaces, especially in such high demand areas as yours.
The CPSU NSW focused on a couple of issues raised recently, the introduction of an unpaid break and Rostering Principals and swapping of shifts.
The CPSU NSW does not support the introduction of unpaid breaks without true and honest consultation with Staff and families. Having staff leave premises for periods of up to an hour could lead to an increase in incidents due to a lack of supervision and staff on site. It has been raised previously under ADHC and the Department determined that it was not in the best interest of Staff and clients.
The CPSU NSW has held discussions at length with Northcott over our concerns and the possible increased risk for all involved and have achieved an understanding that before the introduction of the unpaid breaks, there WILL BE CONSULTATION with Staff and Team Leaders. If there is sufficient and considered reason that a Group Home is unable to introduce the unpaid breaks, Northcott will listen.
The introduction of unpaid breaks will be done on a house by house consultative manner. It is not to be a blanket roll out without true and honest consideration for the consultation process and feedback from affected houses. If there is concern around the consultation, the CPSU NSW advises that you raise your concerns locally first, and if an unsatisfactory outcome, call the CPSU NSW Member Support team on 1300 772 679.
This is the same with requests for changes in shifts. It is part of the Community Living Award that shift swapping is to be given favourable consideration and if declined, a reason should be provided to you. Rosters are to be provided two weeks in advance for consultation and feedback from Staff. If you have concerns or questions, raise them with your Team Leader. If there are changes that may be needed, speak up.
As front line, you need to raise your concerns, questions and issues. Failure to hold true and honest consultation as per the transferred terms and conditions will lead to an escalation, possibly the Fair Work Commission.
The next JCC will be held on Wednesday 6 December 2017
If you don’t have a local Delegate and would like to become more involved with the CPSU NSW and your workplace, please contact your CPSU NSW Organiser or the Member Support Centre on
1300 772 679
Ask your colleagues to stand with you by joining CPSU NSW today. They can join online HERE.