QPS Update - 28 May

Posted on May 28, 2021

It has been a busy few weeks in QPS for Together members, with the consultative committees, admin reviews, changes in Workcover legislation and the significant overtime needs for Together members in police comms. Check out the updates below.

Email the Minister about your COVID leave!

As reported in the previous update we have sought a meeting with the Police Minister regarding members’ request to be equally recognised for COVID leave as was done for other front line work groups, both in QPS and other government agencies. We will update members as soon as this meeting date is set.

We must maintain the pressure on the Minister and the Service to recognise the hard work undertaken by Together members in QPS who ensured the COVID-19 response of Queensland was a success.

Can you write to the Minister and highlight the important work you and colleagues did during the height of the pandemic?

The Together website has a simple form that members can use to send an email to the Minister highlighting your experience during the pandemic. You can use the suggested text but we are encouraging all members to add their own personal experience.

Stage 4 Admin Review

Stage 4 of the Admin Review is underway and is currently meeting fortnightly.

Supervisor Subordinate Anomaly

This stage of the review is beginning with the Supervisor Subordinate Anomaly that arose our of Stages 1, 2 & 3. We recently completed a Job Analysis Questionnaire and Draft Position Description for these roles and presented them to the committee for review. 

We will keep members updated as this progresses, we meet fortnightly with next meeting on Thursday 10 June.

Roster Clerks & SCSOs

In preparation for these two groups of members to be reviewed we are currently seeking input from members in these roles. We are seeking members to be involved in committee meetings and provide input into the Job Analysis Questionnaires and Draft Position Descriptions for these roles. If you would like to be involved please register your interest by emailing Remi and Cameron at police@together.org.au

WorkCover Legislation Changes

As recently announced, changes have been made by the Palaszczuk Government to Workers’ Compensation Laws to ensure that Together members in Police who respond to traumatic events are able to access WorkCover quickly and receive the support they need.

We understand the communications originally sent out by Minister Grace regarding the changes were not clear on Together members in Police being included in the legislation. Together can confirm that members in Police, especially in Communications and Policelink are included in this legislation. It is only because of the action taken by Together at the beginning of 2020 as part of the Stakeholder Reference Group that members were included in the legislation. This representations saw the definition of ‘relevant workers’ expanded to include many positions across government. 

Planned Overtime in Police Comms

Together has been raising the severe understaffing of Police Communication Centres across the state for some time now. We are currently collecting evidence of planned overtime to show the Service the level of understaffing currently being experienced. We are asking members to send through examples of instances where overtime has been required (this does not include overtime shifts made available due to emergent leave). We are seeking examples from the past month and upcoming month where available. Please email them through to police@together.org.au

QPS Agency Consultative Committee

The QPS ACC was last week, we discussed the following matters;

Reviews of work groups as outlined in the EB

  • We have advised QPS that we are ready to commence the reviews in the EB. The QPS are identifying some proposed timeframes and processes for these reviews. With the finalisation of PSBA de-establishment in the next month the QPS will be better positioned to progress these reviews as efficiently as possible.
  • As we receive further information from the QPS on these process we will liaise directly with those members.

Consultation

  • We raised a number of ongoing concerns with the QPS failing to genuinely consult with Together members. QPS representatives acknowledged the issues we were facing and have committed to improving the consultation and address the areas which are not meeting their obligations.
  • The QPS has committed to providing HR support to the consultative committees at all levels to assist in resolving matters relating to Together members in a more reasonable timeframe.

Communication Rooms

  • A number of matters were escalated to this committee including, the ongoing unreasonable and unsafe workloads resulting in the significant overtime constantly being offered across comms rooms, the impacts of the SOLVE framework and the health and safety of members in comms. Specific examples were given in regards to incidents that have occurred at the Beenleigh PCC which is now being followed up by Superintendent Scott MacQueen for resolution.
  • Yamanto communication room – we know the QPS has a two year plan for the development of a QPS site at Ripley and we know this currently does not include the communication room operators however we have received no detail on what this means for the communication room operators long term. Your delegate spoke specifically to how this make members feel and the Service acknowledge the concern no consultation or information being shared on the matter is causing. QPS are seeking advice in relation to this matter and will report back – we will share any information as soon as we receive it.

Secondments

  • Members have been reporting ongoing issues with release for secondments. Member advised of inconsistent processes, unreasonable timeframes for approval and repeated requests being denied despite being encouraged to apply for EOIs when they come up. The QPS acknowledged they were aware there is an issue with secondments, the process and the ability for staff to be released. QPS advised this has a lot to do with the Government's savings and debt plan. The QPS is going to send through the current policy.

Given the number of issues within QPS, one of the strategies to improve the resolution of matters is to move the ACC meetings to monthly – this means the next meeting will be in July.  

Policelink Consultative Committee

The Policelink LCC was last week and we discussed the follow matters;

  • Changes to TOIL policy. Namely the limit on TOIL accrual (three days maximum) and the basis for this, given that ATA (which is similar in function to TOIL) can see an accrual of five days per month. Members have also raised the restrictions on taking TOIL in combination with recreation or LSL leave. Concerns raised mainly focus on this being aimed at limiting the ability to take TOIL on public holidays and weekends. 
    • The Service advised that the three day maximum was an oversight and was being corrected to be in line with the ATA accruals.
    • The Service also advised that they are seeking the taking of leave to be done in a way that is consistent when taking various forms of leave e.g. all annual leave taking in a row followed by TOIL time taken in a row rather than mixing leave types in a run of leave.
  • SOLVE implementation. In particular the feedback from Quality Assurance and how this is being handled. Concerns have been raised that the feedback is limited in explaining how QA have come to a different score than the CSO.
    • The Service acknowledge there has been some work on fine tuning the feedback process based on the feedback they had been receiving from staff. Specifically focusing on consistency. It was discussed that taking the time to review and discuss the feedback with staff was imperative to ensuring a shared understanding of the SOLVE process and CSOs feeling confident in its application.
    • Your delegates raised concerns about members not being given enough time to be across changes to processes and that there needed to be another way other than just emails for this information to be shared and prioritised. Policelink agreed and will look at making some changes to implement a better process.
    • We have agreed to survey members to see if the changes that have been implemented around feedback are resolving the concerns members have – if you continue to have concerns with the SOLVE process can you please email police@together.org.au and let us know. We will then collate and de-identify all member feedback for further discussion with Policelink about how to address ongoing issues.
  • Consultation over OPM changes to wilful damage reporting. It has been noted that the SLA for these reports has been shortened from 72 hours to just 2 hours. These changes would appear to have a significant impact to the ability of the business to handle the increase in workload. 
    • The Service advised that this was about consistency across other SLA reports.
    • The Service talked about the goal is to take more off the frontline police officers where they can. A discussion was had around ensuring the technology is there to support an increase in more online forms – it was agreed this was a integral part.

  • Roster review.
    • The Service agreed about the importance and their obligations to ensure Together members are consulted about their rosters. They are proposing the project team consist of one workforce management representative, one team leader and a CSO representative. A survey will be developed in consultation with union delegates and members in the first instance.
  • Townsville Policelink
    • We discussed briefly that the Service is intending to stand up the Policelink office in Townsville next year – we have not received any details of timeframes for this but understand the plan is for this to occur next year. It is important to note that there will be no changes to members role or staffing levels at Policelink Zillmere. This will remain a standing agenda item for the LCC and we will continue to update members as we know more.
1800 177 244
members@together.org.au