The PSA will formally investigate any complaint from a member that the secretariat or president consider warrants investigation.
PSA members have a right to expect quality advocacy, timely representation and support, and that complaints will be dealt with promptly.
Resolving complaints at the lowest level
In general, members and staff are expected to attempt to resolve any complaints with the PSA at the earliest possible opportunity and at the lowest possible level. This means a member should start by contacting the relevant staff member.
The organising centre can provide guidance on the name and contact details of the person responsible. This may include the organiser responsible for the organisation or the assistant secretary responsible for the sector.
If attempts to resolve at the lowest level do not address the complaint to the member’s satisfaction, the member may request in writing or email to the relevant PSA official that the matter be formally investigated.
Executive board oversight
The executive board will receive an annual report summarising complaints received and formally investigated over the course of the preceding year. The report will include the nature and outcome of each formal complaint and will outline any issues arising regarding compliance with the policy.
If your complaint is about a PSA staff member or delegate, contact the secretariat. If your complaint is about the PSA secretariat, contact the PSA president.
You may also send your complaint to someone else. They will acknowledge it and forward it to the relevant PSA official, who will then be the point of contact for your complaint.
If your complaint is about PSA policy or a decision of the executive board, contact either the president or the secretariat, who will determine who is the appropriate PSA official for the complaint to be forwarded to.
The relevant PSA official will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken in resolving the complaint. This may include referring the member to another PSA staff member or delegate to attempt to resolve it. If this is not appropriate or does not deliver an outcome, the relevant PSA official may determine that a formal investigation will take place.
Examples of where formal investigations may be undertaken include:
- an alleged failure by the PSA to follow the PSA Rules or PSA Regulations;
- an allegation that the PSA has failed to follow its own processes;
- an allegation that a member’s reasonable expectations about the conduct of a union official or the PSA have not been met;
- an allegation of misconduct by a PSA official.
A formal investigation will only occur when the relevant PSA official determines that the problem has not or cannot be resolved at a lower level and that it should be investigated.
Where it is determined that a formal investigation should take place, the investigation may include discussions with the member, requests for further information, and interviews of the relevant PSA staff and other members.
Members will be notified whether a formal investigation will take place and can expect a written reply 20 working days after that. Depending on availability of relevant people and the ability to access relevant information, this timeframe may be extended. The member will be advised if any extension is necessary.
A member will be advised of the outcome of their complaint to the extent possible given the privacy obligations on the PSA.
The outcome may include:
- a review of PSA processes or procedures;
- an apology; disciplinary action against a PSA staff member (note that details will not be notified to the member due to privacy obligations);
- recommendations as to training and development;
- overturning of a decision of a PSA official;
- that no action is warranted.
The decision of the relevant PSA official regarding an investigation is final. The PSA will not continue to engage with members when the relevant PSA official determines that the complaint is addressed.