Thursday, 19 March 2020

TAFE member update regarding COVID-19

TAFE Covid – March 2020 (PDF version)

This week, the CPSU NSW wrote to TAFE NSW to confirm what measures were being taken in regard to COVID-19 to ensure the wellbeing of staff and students. TAFE NSW did not respond in a timely manner and therefore your union took steps to ensure your employer was addressing the COVID-19 matter.

The CPSU NSW as a result of insisting on engagement with TAFE NSW is now meeting and being briefed from representatives of the TAFE NSW Crisis Management Team (CMT) on a daily basis.

As a result of the first Skype meeting that took place on 19 March, TAFE NSW has informed the CPSU NSW the following teams are in place.

  • The CMT made up of representatives from across the business and WHS managers from the regions
  • Incident Management Teams (IMT): regionally based, chaired by regional managers and included delivery and non-delivery stakeholders.
  • An Emergency Management Team (EMT) made up at each college of WHS representatives and the HSRs.

The EMTs are most relevant to our members across TAFE NSW and we encourage members to work closely with them.

If members are unaware of the relevant WHS/HSR representative at their campus, ask your manager or local regional WHS manager.

TAFE NSW has committed to providing the WHS and HSRs at each campus.

TAFE NSW has assured the CPSU NSW it has issued communications with related material from sources such as NSW Health informing and educating all staff on appropriate practices, actions and impacts.

It has established a dedicated COVID-19 intranet site and is directing staff to it. The site includes material such as NSW Health updates, court updates, leave and attendance information.

TAFE has established a core team of senior staff to determine ongoing strategies and oversee the responses to various matters that arise. Senior executives are working with line managers in relation to individual concerns from staff and responding as quickly as possible.

TAFE is implementing strategies to avoid gatherings of large cohorts of critical staff and using technology over face-to-face contact. It has introduced social distancing options and flexible working arrangements where possible and practical and will continue to review options to expand these options: especially for those staff who are considered vulnerable.

Flu vaccinations will be rolled out to staff in April.

If members have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the CPSU NSW.

NSW Health and Federal Department of Health Advice

The CPSU NSW sought confirmation that current NSW Health and Federal Department of Health protocols are being adhered to. They can be viewed HERE and HERE.

Some questions for TAFE NSW to answer at our daily update meeting tomorrow morning.

  • Has TAFE NSW established a Pandemic Service Delivery Continuity Plan which has been communicated to relevant staff?
  • Official position on PPE and hand sanitisers – protection for security frontline customer service and library staff – provision of this. Has this been communicated to staff?
  • What steps are in place to provide frontline service with social distancing?
  • What cleaning provisions/procedures are in place? Who is responsible for the regular cleaning of computers and equipment?
  • Are there plans for introduction of temperature testing?
  • Do Incident Management Committees remember support staff in assessing contacts of infected people?
  • Has infectious control been recognised as a significant organisational risk and placed on the next Audit and Risk Meeting agenda?
  • Has established a register in relation to staff to monitor and track all COVID-19 related issues and incidents raised by staff?

TAFE NSW has also advised it is continuing to receive new and changing information every day and is doing its best to ensure staff are kept up to date and safe.

If members have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the CPSU NSW.

Your CPSU NSW staff

Shane Jobberns Organiser

Matthew Drake-Brockman Industrial Officer

What can you do?

  • Encourage your colleagues to JOIN the CPSU NSW
  • Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.
  • Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.