The Director-General announced in the December 2011 'Director-General's Update' that the DEC was undertaking a review and 'realignment' of the corporate aspects of the Department. The Federation was not consulted.
This Director-General's newsletter, which many OCAA members report never seeing, was then used by DEC Industrial Relations to justify in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) the decision to appoint NSBTS officers for only 6 or 12 months in 2012. This justification occurred as a result of the Federation taking the matter to the IRC in December 2011 in an attempt to prevent the shortening of the period of temporary appointments for our NSBTS OCAA members.
At the hearing on 20 December 2011 the Federation was not successful in preventing the shortened appointments. The commission did, however, concur with concerns about the process and poor communication from the DEC to NSBTS members and their union.
Whilst the DEC denied that there were any specific plans to cut jobs, they stated that the Director-General's 'realignment' process made the employment of temporary positions beyond 6 or 12 months from January 2012 unknown. The Federation considers that the likelihood of NSBTS job cuts from mid to late 2012 must therefore be high. The Federation opposes cuts to NSBTS positions in the DEC.
The Federation thanks those OCAA members who contacted the Federation and were prepared to have the matter of their unilaterally shortened temporary appointments challenged in the IRC.
The Federation asks OCAA members to contact the Organiser, David Ferguson, if information becomes available to them regarding potential job cuts in regions or state office. With the support of OCAA members the Federation will oppose any attempt by the DEC to reduce the valuable support provided to public schools by NSBTS officers.
Update April 2012
The Federation has written to the DEC stating the need to inform NSBTS officers who were appointed for only 6 months in January 2012 of whether or not their position will be extended beyond July 2012. The Federation will keep OCAA members informed of any DEC response regarding particular positions and any developments regarding the DEC 'realignment' of state office. OCAA members are again thanked for keeping the Federation informed about DEC activities in state office and regions.