Protective service member updates and OST Training dispute.
It has been over ten months since SGPSS transitioned to QPS to form the Protective Services. During this time, changes to the service are still ongoing under our new QPS management. Your union delegates and organisers are working diligently to make sure you as members of the Together Union are dealt with fairly by management during this remodelling of the service, and to ensure union members have a say in your workplace and the operations of the service.
Your Together organisers and workplace delegates meet with our management through Consultative Committee meetings to discuss workplace issues, be informed of changes to the Service, review ongoing proposals and most importantly resolve any disputes that may arise.
We are writing to provide examples of some of these outcomes and ongoing issues.
Throughout the EB and post EB negotiations with management, your Union was able to transition 110 temporary staff into permanent status. The Union will continually monitor the status of officers with the view of conversion to permanency, and we continue to push for Protective Services officers to replace private security throughout Queensland.
Operational Skills Training
The requirement by management to provide personal medical information as a prerequisite to Operational Skills Training Course led to your union formally lodging a dispute in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. While this dispute is not yet completely resolved, it had initially resulted in:
- Removal of the medical questionnaire from use,
- Permanently sealing all medical questionnaires which have already been completed so that this personal medical information can’t be used by the employer.
Together has continued to address concerns about the ‘competency based training’, the use of this intensive training as a performance measure for staff, and the proposal that this training may lead to performance and other processes which cause a detriment to staff.
Last week, Together received advice that there have been a number of injuries on the course, which management advised justifies now resurrecting the medical questionnaire.
On Wednesday 12 July, Together Secretary Alex Scott wrote this letter to the Workplace Health and Safety regulator to request that an inspector be appointed to assist the parties resolve the issue of what we believe to be an unacceptably high level of risk of injury. We also formally requested an investigation be undertaken to determine if the Queensland Police Service has committed offences under the relevant sections of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
We have been contacted by a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland representative who have commenced this process.
Together challenged management’s proposal for a physical fitness assessment for entry into the Service. Together has now receive a commitment that there will be no fitness testing in the service.
Cold weather uniforms and tie pins
Together requested management to supply cold weather uniforms for distribution in a timely manner. The supply had been delayed. Together delegates successfully advocated for alternative cold weather clothing options, which means staff were better equipped ahead of the cold weather.
The Union pursued the need for our Officers to elect to wear a tie pin. It was firstly rejected by Management stating these could only be worn by sworn Police Officers. They have since been issued to our Officers.
Lines of Communication
Together delegates proposed to Assistant Commissioner Condon that regional areas (for example Mackay, Rockhampton, etc) have a line of communication be established with a Senior Police Officer for that district as a contact point. This is now being implemented and will make a difference for those workers.
The Together Union and Delegates are sending out a call to members to be part of the delegate team. We need additional delegates for more face to face representation in the workplace so we can keep getting outcomes on Protective Service member’s issues.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to express interest in nominating for the delegate role, please make contact with your delegates or email organiser James Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your Protective Services Together Union Delegates,
Paul Lessmann – Group 2
Phil Sander – Group 3
Iain Bowles – Group 1
Adam Davies – Group 2
Ian McCulloch – Group 5