The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has written to the NSW Government seeking an urgent explanation on the proposed relocation of the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW and its Sydney Registry to Parramatta.
Currently located at 47 Bridge Street in Sydney CBD, the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW and its Sydney Registry sits within the five-storey heritage-listed Chief Secretary’s building.
Acting General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Judith Kiejda, said the relocation decision appears to have been made abruptly and without proper consultation with Registry staff or their union representative, the Public Service Association of NSW.
Ms Kiejda’s letter to Executive Director of the NSW Industrial Relations department, Vicki Telfer, states the hasty relocation decision is unacceptable:
The decision to relocate the Commission from its present location to Parramatta will have potentially significant consequences for the Association and the members we represent. Having ready and easy access to the Commission is an essential ingredient to resolving disputes expeditiously and effectively.
The Association, representing nearly 65,000 nurses and midwives throughout the state, often has proceedings in the Commission that require members being flown in from all parts of NSW to permit resolution and/or determination of matters. To now apply a further dislocation and barrier by way of travel to Parramatta will be enormously disruptive. It will inevitably mean that access to the Commission may not be possible for example within a single day of travel for those from intrastate.
It will also have an impact on the listing of matters before the Commission, as clearly all attempts should be made to mitigate the time lost from work for such members, especially those working in the public health system.
The NSWNMA has called on the state government to halt plans to relocate the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW until proper discussions and consultation occurs with affected staff, as well as all third-party stakeholders who utilise its services.
The NSWNMA considers the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW to be a highly respected and venerable establishment integral to presiding over and resolving numerous issues regarding conditions of employment and entitlements for thousands of workers. It is imperative the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW and its staff are extended the same due process.
Download this media statement: NSWNMA Statement on abrupt relocation of NSW IRC