Ministry of Social Development


Thank you for the many questions you have sent asking for clarification of the recommended settlement.

We have received many questions and comments that are about other aspects of the bargaining process and wider issues. We cannot cover all the questions that are out of scope in the time we have available, so will focus on questions that clarify the settlement, so members can make a well-informed vote.

We can pick up on other issues in a Union Update when advising of the outcome of the ratification.

Questions will be loaded regularly until Tuesday 18 December 2018, so if you need to, you can keep coming back to see the latest questions before casting your vote.

Last updated: Monday 17th December

Frequently Asked Questions

The ballot, voting and FAQs regarding the offer

Frequently asked questions about the ballot and payment of lump sum and new rates (if ratified.)

The most recently asked questions will be found at the top of the following table.

 FAQs as at December 17th

Topic

Question

Answer

Other

Why is Viv Rickard in the video?

The Ministry decided to do an introduction to the proposed settlement from the Ministry perspective, last time it was Ruth who spoke to the proposal.

Voting

Why is PSA recommending this offer? It’s the members' decision

Part of the bargaining process is that the members endorse the bargaining team and mandate them to bargain on their behalf. The bargaining team then make a recommendation to members on the proposed settlement. It is up to the members to vote; the ultimate decision is the members.

Lump sum payments

1) What exact dates will all the payments be made and/ or increased from - i.e. $220.00, Lump Sums payments and 2% increases? –

The $600 and $220 will be paid on the 20th February 2019, the $400 will be paid in November (specific date to be confirmed) if the proposal is ratified.   

Lump sum payments

Why was the Lump Sum not all together instead of split?

The reason for splitting the lump sum/s $600 and $400 was due to affordability. The $220 was to recognise the backdating of the Collective Agreement.

Eligibility

For members, due to financial situations, that need to withdraw from PSA - i.e. looking at buying a house to make their income greater, will there be any possibility that they could receive the lump sums as they have every intention to re-join?

You have to be a member at the date of ratification 18th December in order to receive the first two lump sums, you would also have to remain a member to receive the $400 in November next year. 

PDAs/coaching

Processing review currently going on - will they get a point to point pay increase?  And is that why we are getting 2% annually along with no PDA needed now to increase through percentages and also lump sum payments?

The PRR review in still in progress we will not know the outcome and how any increases will be applied until the end. The 2% increases and the delinking of pay from performance is not linked to the PRR.

PDAs/coaching

Without PDA's what will the Managers use to 'performance review' instead of CHT, Adherence, Compliance, Attendance? For the next two years what will it look like and when are members likely to know

The PDA's are still an important component of members development, we are moving to a model of coaching, the big change is that the performance is delinked from pay so members will automatically progress up to 110%.    

Flexible Hours

What will flexible hours mean in terms of client engagements?
For example if a case manager starts work early, 7.30am and finishes 3.30pm. Would there be a risk that clients may ask to book an appointment before opening hours?

Flexible hours have to be agreed on a case by case basis. For client facing roles this will need to be worked through at sites.

Performance Development

What will MSD implement/ introduce for managers to ensure consistency and integrity of the PD process by all managers?
How closely will PSA monitor the effectiveness of the PD scheme and ensure it is operated in the spirit of this agreement?
What is to stop MSD raising the bar of revised performance criteria to make it harder for staff to meet expectations?

Please refer to Part B 1. of the Terms of settlement (page 9)

Redesign of Remuneration Framework

What will PSA do to ensure it starts on time and remains on track?
What consequences will there be/are built in to ensure completion of the redesign by MSD within the set time frame? (Given that the work programme has carried over from the last bargaining round and is not yet completed and there is no and there has been no ability to enforce or impose a penalty)

The completion of this work is linked to the expiry of the Collective Agreement; the work must be completed as per the time frame set out on page 10 of the Terms of Settlement. If the Ministry does not comply with this work, we will seek legal advice

Redesign of Remuneration Framework

Given that a number of SD roles are yet to be reviewed and won't be completed for some time, concern has been expressed that the Remuneration Work will cut across the role review work and push it our further- what will PSA do ensure that doesn't happen?

The remuneration re-design is a separate piece of work and will not cut across the role design work.

Flexible Hours

What monitoring will there be to establish how this is working and how successfully/effectively it is being implemented across SD? There is concern about whether this approach will be applied consistently and whether MSD will wholly invest in this approach for staff.

The flexible work arrangements are part of the work occurring under the heading of Gender Pay. The Ministry must complete their gender pay gap plan by early next year in conjunction with the PSA. We will be requesting information and monitoring the application of flexible work arrangements on a regular basis.

Redundancy cap

Why was the Redundancy cap of $50,000 for staff employed prior to 01 July 1992 not part of this outcome? 

For years we have been advised that we have to wait for full bargaining for this to be fixed. Has it been corrected and if not why not?

We were unable to achieve any changes due to the current employment legislation and ministerial direction, we are working with the new government to look at a number of areas around the employment legislation.

Other

As a member who has worked in Ministry more than 10 years, why don't we benefit as much from the salary progression as the newer employees?

The current remuneration system is based on an incremental progression model. For members who have not reached the rate for the job which is 105% their progression is automatic. The current top rate for the position/s in MSD is 110%, this is when members no longer automatically progress hence the 2% increases to ensure members are not disadvantaged

Remuneration

What are the implications for the new remuneration levels once PRR is complete?

This question is difficult to respond to as we will not know the outcome of the PRR until the work has been completed.

FAQs as at December 14

Topic

Question

Answer

Bargaining - Start date

Why does the PSA not start bargaining well BEFORE the expiry of these two-year agreements?

For MSD Service Delivery members, the previous/existing agreement expired on 30 September 2018. By only beginning bargaining after that expiry, the PSA played into the employer’s hands so that by mid-December 2018, the employer has been able to both delay the start of any proposed new agreement and put members in the position that if they do not ratify the proposed new agreement further delay will be occasioned with no backdating provisions.

Under the Employment Relations Act 2000 bargaining can only be initiated by PSA a maximum of 60 days prior to the expiry of a collective agreement. For MSD Service Delivery this was 2 August 2018.

Before bargaining can begin there is a Bargaining Process Agreement (BPA) that needs to be negotiated – this is the rules of engagement; how the parties work together and how problems or disagreements will be managed.

This year PSA was working with members in Service Delivery to endorse the 20 main themes for Bargaining, the Bargaining Team, and the rate of ratification, a vote which closed on 3 August 2018. The BPA agreed by PSA and MSD, and dates for Bargaining Team Training, and bargaining needed to be arranged.

It should also be pointed out that the PSA doesn't feel that MSD have at any stage attempted to delay bargaining.

The parties from MSD and PSA met on 6, 13,14, 20, and 21 September 2018. The initial offer was presented to members at member meetings held between 1 and 12 October. We met with the Ministry again 18 October to present the feedback from the members meetings. MSD required time to discuss this with their stakeholders (externally State Services Commission, internally Bargaining Steering Group). Bargaining recommenced on 8 and 9 November, and again 22 and 23 November when the major items of the offer tabled were agreed to present to members. Between 23 November and 5 December, the Terms of Settlement were finalised and arrangements for ratification processes were made.

Lump Sums and Salary Payment increases

Part timers are not partly committed to the Collective? The payment of $220 should not be pro rata on hours.

The Salary adjustment of $220.00 is not a lump sum payment, and it is pro-rated based on the individual contracted hours as at the date of ratification (18 December 2018); this is in place of a back dated salary increase which would also have been pro-rated for part time members based on their contracted hours.

Lump Sums and Salary Payment increases

I am already at 110% of the salary band 2% followed by 2% is what we were offered previously. The only change being the lump sum payments. My understanding of the initial negotiating instructions was that no lump sum payments were to be offered or even considered by the negotiating team. I see that the negotiating team have managed to obtain 3 lump sum payments.  What are you doing this was not part of your brief.

For a member at 110% of the salary band, the increase will be 2% and 2%. Although no lump sum payments were the preferred position for the brief of the PSA bargaining team the aim of the negotiations was to achieve the best possible offer from the Ministry at this time. Our focus was to delink performance from pay for the majority of our members, and this has been agreed in the Terms of Settlement.

Role Reviews

Why weren’t roles affected by CFRR and the future phases of the role review directly addressed in bargaining?

PSA raised the issue of CFRR affected members, and those to be affected by current and future phases of Role Reviews to get MSD to agree a Position in Range to Position in Range translation fix CFRR, and as a standard process but they were not able to commit to that citing ‘budgetary constraints’.

Tikanga And Te Reo Skills

MSD may recognise such contributions either financially or otherwise - what does 'otherwise' mean?

The new paragraph in Section 3.1.1 Recognition of Tikanga Māori and Te Reo skills, states:

Examples of recognition could include preparation time, resources in support, funds for kai for manuhiri (visitors), paid time off/discretionary leave.

This is not an exhaustive list of options but does give some indication for how the Ministry may recognise this contribution.

Salaries v. benefits

Some beneficiaries get greater entitlement to payment than case managers - why?

Benefits and additional support are administered by MSD and are paid from 'crown funds' - salaries are paid by the Ministry as part of their annual Government allocated budget and managed in much the same way any employer must manage costs.

Paid parental leave - disruption of service/tenure

Why is previous service disregarded for staff who have a break in their employment with MSD to bring up children?  And how does this fit with gender equality in the workplace - while it will affect both sexes, particularly in future, historically has this only affected women in this business disproportionately?

I asked this on Goss with the Boss but was fobbed off with no answer to why your early years working for MSD count for nothing if you take time off to raise a family, and how this fits in with gender affecting our employment.   I have been told my employment begins at the start of my return to work, and I feel this is unfair and actually - not the truth!

Can this please be addressed in the upcoming pay equality talks?

This is absolutely a consideration and point of discussion during the separate work going on to address the gender pay gap in MSD - the default for the time being is as currently under PDA, but case by case until a national guideline can be established

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

How Will the PSA go about the monitoring of the deferral of progression process should a member have “unsatisfactory performance”?

In MSD at any particular time there are approximately 12 staff on a performance improvement plan (PIP). PSA and MSD will keep track of the number of members that have had their salary progression delayed/deferred. The PSA welcome all members where this happens to make contact with their delegate and /or organiser for support should the member feel that the delay has not been clearly signalled in writing, and sufficient opportunity to achieve 'satisfactory' performance given, or unsatisfactory performance reasonably determined based on shared expectations of the role.

Progression - 'unsatisfactory performance'

Progression through the salary band will be automatic based on “meeting expectations” and staff not having “unsatisfactory performance”.  What is the measure of both?

Objectives will still be set by the Ministry, and performance reviewed but there will be a greater focus on coaching and feedback. MSD will check the consistency of assessments and PSA will be monitoring this process throughout the term of the collective.

Official Languages

Is this being paid by the Ministry - and will it be during work time?

As noted in the proposed 3.3 Official Languages:

Employees can seek approval to access funding to meet the costs and as appropriate time to attend classes/courses.

This means that if the Ministry does not offer the education 'in-house' in your area, then you may seek approval for funding and/or time away from work duties to attend or receive this training.

PDA/Progression

If staff are currently on an annual PDA round are they able to opt/change back to 6 monthly? 

No, salary progression is to remain at the current increments and periods as already established by PDA.

Coaching - progression, and manager discretion

I have concerns that my manager will use their discretion to state that my performance is 'unsatisfactory'?

MSD is still working through this and more information will become available once they're further through this process.

If you have not been clearly advised in writing that your performance is unsatisfactory you will receive the progression.

As with PDA, you always have the right to review a management decision about your performance, this isn’t going away. If you need assistance with this process you should talk to your PSA delegate or contact PSA.

Pass on

Could you please clarify for me are non-members receiving the $220, $600 and $400 because reading your question page it implies they are at a later date, however in our presentation it was implied they are not.

The salary adjustment of $220, and the two lump sum payments are NOT being paid to non-PSA staff.

New staff who start and join the PSA between the two lump sums will be able to get the second lump sum of $400

Collective - pass on

Why do non-members get this passed on?

The matter of non-members getting the deal passed on was up for negotiation, as it is every time with bargain with MSD.

The PSA bargaining team were strongly in favour of a bargaining fee for non-members, but this was not something that MSD management had a mandate to offer. Instead of penalising non-members, the proposal is we advantage PSA members, who receive both the lump sum payments and the percentage pay increases prior to non-members.

By going this way we are able to get the strongest deal for union members while still providing strong encouragement for non-members to become a part of a union.

There are many other benefits offered by PSA membership, including representation when workplace issues arise. We are getting lots of new members at this time, which shows that the 3-payment advantage is attracting people to join when they weigh all these factors up.

Lump Sums and Salary Payment increases

When will members receive the second lump sum payment?

The payment date has not yet been confirmed by MSD, but agreement has been reached that it will be one of the pay dates in November 2019.

Progression payments

Is it true that progression payments will not be subject to the “bell curve” of recent times where some make it, and some don’t?

Progression is automatic unless performance is unsatisfactory (see earlier answer), there is no longer a ‘bell curve’

PDA/Progression

PDAs are suspended – therefore staff are no longer subject to the PDA process and format.

a. Staff up to 100% auto progress at 5% per coaching period i.e. at April and October.-( unless subject to deferral conditions)

Does this mean that if the manager has not been able to meet with the staff member for whatever reason and the staff member has not received a written statement deferring progression, they will progress automatically?

Yes, salary progression is automatic except where CLEAR WRITTEN signalling of unsatisfactory performance has been received, and sufficient time has been provided to improve performance before the increase date (April or October)

If they have not met with their manager, and have not been formally notified of unsatisfactory performance they will automatically progress

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

How will managers be held accountable to their part of coaching staff and being available for progression discussions?

The Ministry is still working through this and more information will become available once they're further through this process.

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

Feedback from staff at 105% - 110% upwards do not see anything significant in these terms of settlement for them. To confirm they get the 2% twice a year proposed salary increase and auto progression potentially once a year of 2.5%, as well as lump sum payments and salary adjustment.

If the manager sees fit is it possible for them to progress in salary outside of this as per the double step progression suspension clause?

If MSD wishes to move someone outside the standard progression, a separate case will need to be made for an additional adjustment, at the discretion of the employer

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

Does these benefits also apply to those roles covered by the CEA but not yet subjected to CFRR? I understand this as a yes am I correct?

Service Delivery Role Review is a separate process to this Bargaining, any role that is not redesigned still has additional potential for movement to be determined by that process.

Additional clauses

The gender pay principle, family violence and official languages type clauses included in this settlement appear to be State Service Sector inclusions and not necessarily what the members wanted. Q: Are you able to clarify this?

These particular points were included as a PSA Public Service bargaining strategy; however, the Family Violence clause was also a priority for PSA members in Service Delivery.

Salary payment increases

The 2 and 2% salary increase over the term of the next CEA is seen as no different to the original offer that was rejected by all including the bargaining team.

This offer includes complete de-link of performance assessment from salary progression, where the initial offer only had this up to 100% in the bands (which for the most part already happened)

Salary payment increases

The members would like to know what the original % salary increase offer was taken to the bargaining table. 

The bargaining team focused on removing the barriers to salary progression for all members, however as noted in the Bargaining Brief “Pay increase for all members to be applied across the board each year of the term of the agreement which is not linked to performance ratings.”

Progression

If staff are currently on an annual PDA round are they able to opt/change back to 6 monthly?  This is because they are disadvantaged being on annual otherwise.

No, Salary progression remains at the current stages/increments 5% from 80% to 105% at six-month steps April and October 105% to 110% annually at 2.5% steps in October

Reviews / combined work

Will the Review of PDA and other reviews (e.g. gender equity and remuneration redesign) be completed within 2 years?

The PSA and MSD are committed to completing this and other work within the term of the collective.

Lump sums and salary payment increases

Why is the lump sum payment of $600.00 and $400.00 not paid as one payment?

For a number of reasons, including – but not limited to - 1. It promotes continued membership through term of collective, and 2. It shares the financial impact across multiple tax years (or budget years from MSD perspective)

Industrial action

What are our options for going on strike?

It is too early to determine industrial action

Industrial action

Is there a strike fund?

PSA maintains an industrial fund to support PSA members in financial hardship during periods of industrial action.

The fund is only accessible after 5 consecutive days of strike.

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

The members had some reservation about the new "Coaching system" that is being proposed. It appears vague and not clearly defined. This may allow management to set difficult targets if there are no prescribed targets. - The system is also subjective and individual managers will interpret performance differently. There is no definition of "unsatisfactory performance" which leaves staff to negotiate with managers. - The new system should be consistent nationwide.

MSD and PSA are still working through this and more information will become available once they're further through this process.

If you have not been clearly advised in writing that your performance is unsatisfactory you will receive the progression.

As with PDA, you always have the right to review a management decision about your performance, this isn’t going away. If you need assistance with this process you should talk to your PSA delegate or contact PSA.

Lump sum payments

If you were previously under the Service Delivery Contract then changed position to one which is now covered by a National Office Individual contract, however this is yet to be signed, does that mean that contract coverage defaults to the existing Service Delivery collective and as such they would be able to   receive the 1st lump sum payment due in Feb 2019?

The position or role that you are employed in must be in coverage of the Service Delivery Collective Agreement in order to receive the benefits of the Terms of Settlement

Role reviews

Am I correct in the fact that because I haven’t yet been through the role review, I could potentially miss out on the first round of increases in lieu of PDA therefore be further disadvantaged

The increases noted in the Service Delivery Bargaining Terms of Settlement apply to people in the role and salary position they currently stand. The Service Delivery Role Review and Bargaining are  separate pieces of work.

Many roles yet to be redesigned and the current phase has not gone for evaluation at this stage, how the translation for any changed roles has to be established as part of the outcome of that process.

It is important to note that there is additional potential for salary movement through the role review work.

Role reviews

There was no mention of the processing role review nor the review of the other roles yet to be reviewed.  Are these role reviews still progressing?

The increases noted in the Service Delivery Bargaining Terms of Settlement apply to people in the role and salary position they currently stand. The Service Delivery Role Review and Bargaining are separate pieces of work.

Many roles yet to be redesigned and the current phase has not gone for evaluation at this stage, how the translation for any changed roles has to be established as part of the outcome of that process.

It is important to note that there is additional potential for salary movement through the role review work.

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

There are concerns around the coaching model proposed – where progression in salary is dependent on ‘satisfactory performance’.  This still implies there are things which we are measured against.  Some service delivery roles can have many, many KPI’s and the division of labour amongst the service centre can mean that not everyone can achieve all of the KPI’s.  The membership here lacks confidence that achieving ‘satisfactory performance’ is going to be as straightforward as advertised.  No document has been submitted by the Ministry to date that would satisfy some members that the ‘satisfactory performance’ requirement can be achieved by individuals in frontline roles.  We need a clear definition of satisfactory performance.

MSD and PSA are still working through this and more information will become available once they're further through this process.

If you have not been clearly advised in writing that your performance is unsatisfactory you will receive the progression.

As with PDA, you always have the right to review a management decision about your performance, this isn’t going away. If you need assistance with this process you should talk to your PSA delegate or contact PSA.

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

Who will be doing the coaching and when?

In this office there is essentially no coaching and even trainees are learning on the job and have not had or even getting rigorous training and support.  Members had concerns that those doing the coaching would not know the role detail of those they are coaching, and they do not have confidence that such coaching will occur.

MSD still working on this - managers are currently responsible for PDA, they will be responsible for coaching

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

Want to know the current performance Management Criteria. Will it remain the same?

MSD and PSA are still discussing what ‘satisfactory’ performance means – the default is ‘meeting expectations’ as per PDA until such time as a new national standard is arranged

Coaching - Progression - replacement of PDA

What does throgression does ge performance management guidelines look like?

MSD and PSA are still discussing what ‘satisfactory’ performance means – the default is ‘meeting expectations’ as per PDA until such time as a new national standard is arranged

 

If MSD are committed to finding the money to fund the pay rises and pay progressions over the next two years, why did the PSA and MSD not explore an increase in across the board pay rises (i.e.: 6% or 7% for all) so that the pay deal was fair for all members?

 

PSA and MSD negotiated the across the board increase and the automatic progression - MSD could not secure additional funding for larger general increase, but the puarantee increases of between 6.5 and 9% for the majority of PSA members during the term of the collective on offer.

 

FAQs as at December 10

Topic

Question

Answer

Collective

Where can I find a copy of the Collective Agreement?

A copy of the draft Collective Agreement has been supplied with the Bargaining Ratification Meeting Kit, and if ratified a signed copy of the Collective Agreement will be available on doogle and will be available on your My PSA profile.

Collective

Why has the Collective Agreement been re-ordered? 

To make the Collective Agreement easier to read and follow.

Collective

Are there any technical changes to the agreement?

Yes, several technical changes were agreed to improve and clarify certain elements of the agreement. Full details of these are available in the Terms of Settlement.

Collective - coverage

Am I covered by the collective agreement?

The coverage the collective agreement is described in clause 2.2 of the collective agreement. Generally, all staff within the Service Delivery business unit (outside of National office) who are current members of the PSA are covered by the collective agreement unless the position has specific HR and/or financial delegation or is covered by the Child youth and Family Collective Agreement or the National Office and Ministry of Youth Development Collective Agreement. If you have any questions regarding coverage please contact HR or the PSA.

Collective - pass on

Does the proposed Terms of Settlement apply only to PSA members?

Yes. The proposed Terms of Settlement apply only to PSA members who are covered by the Service Delivery CA. Please note, some provisions in the new CA are only applicable to permanent staff.

Collective - pass on

Why do non-members get this passed on?

The matter of non-members getting the deal passed on was up for negotiation, as it is every time with bargain with MSD. The PSA bargaining team were strongly in favour of a bargaining fee for non-members, but this was not something that MSD management had a mandate to offer. Instead of penalising non-members, the proposal is we advantage PSA members, who receive both the lump sum payments and the percentage pay increases prior to non-members.
By going this way we are able to get the strongest deal for union members while still providing strong encouragement for non-members to become a part of a union.
There are many other benefits offered by PSA membership, including representation when workplace issues arise, holiday homes and group discounts. We are getting lots of new members at this time, which shows that the 3-payment advantage is attracting people to join when they weigh all these factors up.

Collective - pass on

Will the settlement be passed on to the other smaller collective groups?

The Terms of Settlement only allows for pass on to non-union members. If it is passed on to other union members, the PSA would consider whether it could be seen as undermining our bargaining and could decide to take the matter up accordingly.

Collective - term

How long is the term of the agreement?

The term of the agreement is two years, from 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2020.

Collective - term

Why is the term of the Collective two years? (and not one, or three?)

Members were very clear in their feedback pre-bargaining that a two-year term was preferred. Also, a two-year term allows enough time for the combined MSD and PSA work to be completed to redesign the remuneration framework and continue work on the Gender Pay Action Plan.

Collective - term

Why is the starting date for the new collective agreement for 1 November 2018 and not 1 October 2018?

The Ministry has very clear guidelines from the State Service Commission (SSC) [http://www.ssc.govt.nz/govt-expectations-pay-employment/] around back dating. We were able to secure the date of 1 November 2018 in recognition of the bargaining approach between the parties, hence the payment of $220 "salary adjustment" lump sum to cover the period 1 November 2018 to 9 January 2019 for PSA members only.

Ratification

Is this a ratification meeting?

Yes, this is a PSA members’ meeting which is part of the ratification process to discuss the PSA recommended deal; ratification voting will take place via an email voting link. The delegates will take you through the details of the terms of settlement and the tracked changed Collective Agreement.
An email will be sent to all members covered by the proposed collective agreement with an electronic link for them to vote. Members should receive this by close of business on the 12 December 2018.

Ratification

What is ratification?

Ratification is the process that PSA members use to decide whether they accept a proposed collective agreement. Usually, PSA members decide on the ratification process before negotiations start.
In this instance, PSA members agreed through electronic voting following the pre-bargaining members meetings to this process. This agreement included the make-up of the bargaining team, the major themes for bargaining, and the minimum ratification threshold of 50% of votes cast + 1 vote (i.e. more votes in favour than against).

Ratification

If this recommended settlement is not ratified, what happens next? When would the start date of the next Collective Agreement be?

If the settlement is rejected, we would continue bargaining. You, the members, may be asked what collective actions you would be prepared to take. The start date for any collective agreement is part of the negotiation.

Ratification

If the settlement is rejected and we don’t have a new Collective Agreement by 30 September 2019, would we all be on Individual agreements?

Yes, however those agreements would be a mirror of the current Collective Agreement, and PSA members would continue to act collectively to get a new CA.

Voting

Who can vote?

Only PSA members who are covered by the recommended settlement can vote (refer to coverage clause).

Voting

If someone’s substantive position is covered by the Service Delivery CA, but they are seconded to a position outside coverage, can they vote, and will they receive the lump sum payment?

Unless their secondment agreement says they are covered by a different CA, they will be covered. MSD have advised that the usual practice is for secondees to remain in coverage.

Voting

If a PSA member is on leave without pay, including parental leave, will they be eligible to vote, and to receive the lump sum payment?

Yes, they are eligible if they are on the list the PSA gives to the Ministry after the vote closes. You should make efforts to let your colleagues who are on leave know that they should receive a voting link. If they do not get a link, they should check their membership details are up to date with the PSA, so we can be sure that we know they are just away on leave and haven’t left altogether. They won’t have been paying fees while on leave without pay but are still PSA members without an obligation to pay fees. We need to include them on the list that goes to the Ministry straight after the vote closes for them to be eligible for the payment.

Voting

Can non-PSA members vote?

No – only members of the PSA and who are covered by the collective agreement can vote in the ratification process. The link for voting on this offer of settlement has only been sent to members of PSA in coverage of this Collective Agreement.

Voting

Are PSA members allowed to vote by proxy? 

No – PSA members must vote using the electronic link that they were sent on 12 December 2018.

Voting

When does the ballot open and close?

It opens on 12 December 2018, and closes Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 4pm

Voting

When will I receive the link to vote on the deal? 

The voting link is to PSA members on 12 December 2018

Voting

What if I am away from work during this time?

If you have not given the PSA your personal e-mail address, you will not receive a voting link at home. You should contact Stephen Ruth (stephen.ruth@psa.org.nz), the returning officer, providing your new email address and ask him to send you a link. This can only take place before close of ballot, so please do not wait to make contact – do it well before Tuesday 18 December 2018

Voting

What if I do not receive a ballot in my email?

In the first instance phone 0508 367 772, the PSA Organising Centre and ask them to look at your record and see which email addresses are held by the PSA. If the PSA no longer have a valid e-mail address, you will need to ask them to add your current one. They can then ask Stephen Ruth to send you your voting link.

Voting

I’ve received two voting links (one to my work email the other to my personal email), do I get to vote twice?

No, the link is provided to both contact addresses, but will only work once.

Voting

What if I change my mind?

You can only vote once, so once your vote has been recorded it is final.

Joining the PSA

I’m thinking of joining the PSA as I would like the terms of the new CA - is there a cut-off date for joining the PSA?

Yes - to be eligible for the benefits in the terms of settlement (such as the lump sum payment), you will need to have joined the PSA on the date of ratification (18 December 2018). Joining after this date still entitles you to other terms and conditions which have been negotiated.

Joining the PSA

What is the process for joining the PSA?

To join the PSA, you need to:
* Complete and sign a PSA membership form (these should be available in your workplace or from your local PSA delegate);
* Send the membership part of the form to the PSA; and
* Send the deduction part of the form to MSD Payroll.
OR
* join the PSA online via the PSA website (https://www.psa.org.nz/join-the-psa/sign-up/).

Pay - lump sum

Is the lump sum settlement payment taxable? How much will it be in the hand? 

Yes, the lump sum is taxable, as any income from employment is. The amount of tax to be deducted will depend which tax bracket each person’s total income falls into. There are some calculations set out on the IRD website here: http://www.ird.govt.nz/payroll-employers/make-deductions/staff-benefits/bonuses/emp-ded-bonus-lump-sum.html.
For those of you with a student loan your student loan deduction will be increased in line with the additional income being received that pay period.

Pay - lump sum

Is there a Lump Sum payment? When will that lump sum be paid?

In addition to the remuneration increase there are two PSA only lump sum payments (not pro-rated) which combined are worth $1,000, and a $220 "salary adjustment" lump sum (pro-rated) to cover the period 1 November 2018 to 9 January 2019. These lump sums will be paid as follows:
* on 20 February 2019 - $600 (not pro-rated) and $220 (pro-rated on contracted hours at date of ratification),
* in November 2019 - $400 (not pro-rated)

Pay - lump sum

Are fixed term colleagues going to get the lump sum payment? Casuals are excluded. Are these the same thing?

The Terms of Settlement sets out that permanent and fixed term employees will receive the lump sum. Fixed term and casual forms of employment are different.

Pay - lump sum

Does the statement in the Terms of Settlement about pro rata for part time employees mean that part timers only get half the lump sum payments that a full timer gets?

No, the TOS says that the PSA Only lump sum payments ($600 and $400) will not be pro-rated for part timers. So, they get the full value of these lump sum payments.
The further salary adjustment lump sum of $220 to cover the period 1 November 2018 to 9 January 2019, will be pro-rated for part time members, based on the contracted hours being performed as at the date of ratification.

Pay - entitlements

Does the lump sum payment affect my Superannuation payment? 

Depending on which Superannuation Scheme you are a member of and to which the Ministry contributes the lump sum payment may or may not be superable (deduction made from your lump sum payment to your superannuation scheme).

For KiwiSaver members the lump sum is superable at your regular employee contribution rate (i.e. either 2%, 4% or 8%).

For other superannuation schemes (i.e. GSF, SSRSS, IRP) your lump sum payment will not be superable i.e. there will not be any deduction made from your lump sum payment to your superannuation scheme.

If you wish to clarify this further you should contact your superannuation provider.

Pay - entitlements

Will the pay increase or Lump Sum payments impact on my Working for Families or other income tested entitlements?

Any increase in your remuneration could affect your Working for Families or other entitlement. If you are currently receiving some form of income support or assistance through Working for Families, you must declare any change in your income immediately to ensure your entitlements are reviewed and adjusted accordingly. MSD have confirmed that the lump sum payment is not a change in income and so will not impact your entitlement to Working for Families.

If you as an individual will end up with a lower in the hand value from all sources than you currently receive as a result of this agreement, please contact PSA organiser Kathy Higgins (kathy.higgins@psa.org.nz).

Pay - parental leave

If I am a PSA member and I am on Parental Leave - do I get the $600 Lump sum payment if this proposal is ratified? 

Yes, if your position is covered by the collective agreement - but there are some other conditions: To get the $600 gross payment, you must:
* have been a PSA member before you left on parental leave; and
* return to work at the end of your parental leave; and
* re-commenced your PSA subscription on your return to work within the first fortnight back at work.

The payment will then be made on your return to work.

As with all deductions from your pay, you will need to re-authorise the deduction for the PSA subscription in writing. You will need to do this within two weeks of your return to work in order to access the settlement payment.

Pay - parental leave

If I’m on parental leave on the ratification date, when will I receive the lump sum?

You will receive it upon your return to MSD; this will ensure that the payment does not interfere with your eligibility for parental leave payments through IRD. When returning to MSD, please talk to your manager and HR to make sure this happens, and PSA if you need further assistance. If you do not return to MSD after your parental leave, you will not be eligible to receive the lump sum.

Pay – Leave Without Pay

Will members be eligible for the settlement payments if they are on leave without pay (LWOP)?

Yes, if they are a PSA member, they will be eligible for the $600 - but there are some conditions:
* they must have been a PSA member before they went on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) prior to ratification; and
* their position must be covered by the collective agreement; and
* they must re-commence their PSA subscription on their return to work within the first fortnight back at work.

PSA members on LWOP will only receive the settlement payment on their return to work. Members returning from LWOP will need to re-authorise the deduction of the PSA subscription in writing within the fortnight of their return to work.

Please note that where a member takes LWOP for more than one month, placement on their return is conditional on the availability of a position appropriate to their skills and experience.

Pay - leaving

If a PSA member was employed on 18 December and then left MSD on or before 23 January 2018 will they get backpay and first lump sum payment?

Entitlement to the first PSA only Lump Sum ($600) and the $220 is determined by being a PSA member employed in a role covered by the Service Delivery Collective agreement as at the date of ratification (18 December 2018)
If their last day of employment is on or after 10 January 2019, any salary received from this date will be paid at the new rate of remuneration. They should ensure that their bank account remains open or advise MSD of a new bank account number.

Pay - leaving

What happens if I leave employment before ratification? (5 pm 18 December 2018) 

In order to qualify for the payments under this settlement offer, you have to be an employed in a position under coverage of the collective agreement and PSA member at 5 pm on the date of ratification (18 December 2018).

Pay - salary

When will the new rates be applied and show in my ongoing fortnightly pay?

New remuneration rates become effective 10 January 2019, which will be in the salary payment made 23 January 2019

Pay - salary

Will I get a pay increase?

Yes. There are two across the board remuneration increases that have been bargained as part of this offer.
2% as at 10 January 2019
2% as at 1 November 2019
AND
Automatic salary progression up to 110% in the salary bands if you performing as expected – this is covered in other questions and greater detail in the Terms of Settlement.

Pay - salary

How can I work out what my increases will be over the term of this Collective?

Use the calculator available on Doogle, it will give you all the increases including the compounding factor.

Pay - salary

I’m at 110% in the salary range, do I get anything more than the two 2% increases and the three lump sum payments? 

Because you are already at the top of the salary band, the changes to progression and the PDA process won't entitle you to additional increases other than the salary increases and lump sum payments.

Pay - salary

Do all steps in the range move by 2%?

Yes, all steps are adjusted in line with the movement of the whole range by 2%.

Pay - secondment

I am on secondment to National Office; do I get the Lump Sum and salary increase?

If your substantive (home) position is within coverage of the Service Delivery Collective Agreement, yes. Note that salary increases to your substantive position may reduce any higher duties allowance you receive for your secondment - check your agreement and ask your manager if you are unsure if this will apply to you.

Pay - secondment

I’m on secondment to another position in Service Delivery. Will my salary in my seconded position increase?

This depends on your secondment agreement. Salary increases to your substantive (home) position may reduce any higher duties allowance you receive for your secondment - check your agreement and ask your manager if you are unsure if this will apply to you.

Pay - MSD communication

MSD stated in the video that they don’t have the money for the settlement. How will they pay for the increases?

MSD have made a commitment that they will find the money for this settlement, and a Collective Agreement is legally binding. PSA will be ensuring that this will happen.

Pay - rem system

Will there be any changes to the Remuneration system across the term of this agreement?

Increases to the remuneration ranges have been agreed as part of this offer as listed in other questions. In addition, the Ministry and the PSA have agreed to a redesign of the remuneration framework, as noted in item 2 of Part B of the Terms of Settlement.

PDAs/coaching

What does the removal of the PDAs mean for me? 

The outcome is that increases will be paid automatically to members based on their current progression. Progression is no longer linked to a performance rating.

PDAs/coaching

How will translation between PDA and Coaching be managed? 

Refer to item 1 in Part B of the Terms of Settlement

PDAs/coaching

How will I be better supported in terms of my development and training?

The Ministry and PSA agreed to develop resources including a simple template to assist with progression planning. The objective being to support real progression between roles.

PDAs/coaching

How will MSD support managers with coaching and pay progression?

MSD is still working through this and more information will become available once they're further through this process.

PDAs/coaching

If I receive no coaching for the next year, will I get the salary progression?

Yes, if you have not been clearly advised in writing that your performance is unsatisfactory you will receive the progression.

PDAs/coaching

My manager says my performance is unsatisfactory, but I disagree, how do I review or challenge this? 

As with PDA, you always have the right to review a management decision about your performance, this isn’t going away. If you need assistance with this process you should talk to your PSA delegate or contact PSA.

Specific provisions

Will the improvements to the discretionary leave guidelines for people impacted by domestic violence apply retrospectively to members who have had to take leave without pay?

No, the changes are not retrospective, and only apply from 1 November 2018. It’s worth noting that the current guidelines say that other types or paid leave would usually have to be exhausted, however that is not a prerequisite ad agreed as part of the terms of settlement. Any member who seeks consideration of discretionary leave should do so with their PSA delegate’s support and advice. Delegates can seek assistance through their structures and online or local organisers also have a role to play if needed.

Specific provisions

What is the Gender Pay Action Plan? 

The aim of gender equality in the workplace is to achieve equal outcomes for women.
All Public Service Agencies have been tasked with closing the gender pay gap via a set of measurable goals by 2020. To do this the government has been working with the SSC, Public Service and the PSA to design a framework to complete this work.
The agreed process is to establish a group made up of both parties to complete a Gender Equality Action Plan for MSD.

Specific provisions

Has the sick leave provision changed?

No.

Specific provisions

Have the change management provisions in the CA changed? 

No.

Specific provisions

Why did many of the members’ other claims and issues not get accepted by MSD and included in the recommended settlement? For example, backdating of the term to when the current one expired, extra leave, and new wellness initiatives.

MSD was clear about the maximum value of the financial package they could offer, after having approached the SSC, Treasury, and the Committee of Ministers. Any other cost item would have had to be paid for within that limit. Members had overwhelming told us their highest priority was the pay increase, and a complete de-link of performance assessment from salary progression, although many other suggestions were made for improvements to terms and conditions.

Legislation

What happens if there are changes to employment legislation during the term of this agreement?

The Ministry and PSA have agreed to continue to discuss implications of any significant changes to the employment legislation framework, or on legislation that is administered by or will have an effect on PSA members.