PSA Psychologist Members Win the Reinstatement of Statewide Professional Development Days

16 May 2018

PSA members met the Department for Education (DE) Psychology management in April to discuss a range of issues affecting DE Psychologists.

Members raised issue with the gap in support and professional development caused by the removal of the statewide professional development days. It was raised that the generic training mandated for all support services staff is not psychology specific professional development and does not meet the Psychology Board of Australia’s requirements. DE management committed that statewide psychology professional days would be reinstated and reviewed to better meet Psychologists professional development needs.

Members raised concerns with the data sets used to make decisions around around the Elizabeth South Office. Management provided a commitment that these datasets will not be used for any further staff allocations.

Data sets will be worked through later in the year through the Resource Allocation Working Group and staff will be able to feed their workload concerns through representatives.

Workloads and low morale were raised as an issue, and it was advised that systematic workload issues can be raised either through the representatives on the Resource Allocation Working group or Principle Psychologists.

PSA members expressed concern with consultation and communication. Members advised that there is a two tiered level of communication with communication stopping at the Senior Psychology level. It was acknowledged that there were gaps in the information that staff received. A formalised process and agenda will be established through the Culture Working Group to address these issues and administered at a local level to make sure that staff are receiving current and consistent information.

PSA members sought assurance that there is no intent to expand the scope of outsourcing. DE management noted that there was no intent to further outsource DE Psychological Services. DE management noted that outsourcing was used to fill hard to fill vacancies.

Members raised retention and recruitment issues. Members noted the likely removal of the 4+2 pathway if retired by the Psychology Board of Australia may cause more issues with recruitment. Recruitment and retention were raised as issues and it was acknowledged that there could be more done to explore how best to fill vacancies for recruitment and retention of government Psychology positions such as work with university pathways.

PSA members have asked for another meeting with DE management. The PSA has requested that recruitment and retention, relocation and country staff, and career pathways are placed on the agenda.

PSA members working together can resolve the issues DE Psychologists are facing. If there are issues you would like to be raised at this next meeting contact PSA.