DSS update

It’s been a very busy start to the year. Your delegates have been appropriately active in the workplace and continue to work professionally with DSS management to ensure we all have safe and productive worksites in which to earn our living.

Machinery of Government Changes

On 6 February 2020, approximately 400 IT staff moved to Services Australia (SA). There are also a number of Corporate, Finance and Governance staff moving to SA in the coming weeks. Goodbye to all members moving to Services Australia. The union is strong in this agency and your organiser is Sarah Ambrose Sarah.Ambrose@cpsu.org.au. Meanwhile, 250 staff transferred from SA to DSS. Most of these 250 provide services for The National Redress Scheme (a scheme initiated after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). Welcome to all new member-colleagues joining DSS! The CPSU will have paid-time meetings for members during March.

Advice: Meetings with managers

A number of CPSU members have requested information on their rights when meeting with a manager. The CPSU recommends attending meetings with a delegate or other support person. Workers should never feel uncomfortable meeting with a manager. Please find information attached. If you have any troubles in this area members always have access to informed, experienced delegates and/or the member services centre. Non-members do not have this advantage.

Air Quality Policy

All around the country, and in particular Tuggeranong, workers found ourselves breathing heavily polluted air, caused by devastating bushfires nationally. This meant a number of your colleagues became sick and many more requested local flexible work arrangements in order to avoid having to breath as little of the smoke as possible. The disruption to work was obvious and given global warming trends, likely to occur again. Your Workplace Consultative Forum representatives have submitted a request that DSS to create an Air Quality Policy to manage the way toxic smoke inhalation in the workplace is managed. This agenda item will be discussed at the next WCF meeting, 21 February 2020.

Workplace Health and Safety Management Arrangements (WHSMA)

The Department has provided its updated draft WHSMA to the CPSU for our assessment. If the draft meets our claim it will put to members for final endorsement.

DSS Laptops

A number of members have expressed concern with their DSS issued laptops with batteries swelling due to excessive heat. The CPSU has been working with People Services Branch who have provided advice (see attached).