Elevating our issues at CASA and Airservices
20 October 2020
A senate inquiry is currently underway into the state of Australia’s general aviation industry. It includes scope to consider CASA and Airservices’ effectiveness as agencies in the industry and related matters.
Your Professionals Australia representatives have developed a submission, seeking to elevate many of the issues we’ve been confronting at CASA and Airservices for some time, such as the shrinking of technical teams, deprofessionalisation and the risks associated with workplace culture, access to training and workplace change.
Considering the issues discussed in this submission, we recommend a number of steps be taken to improve the operation and effectiveness of CASA and Airservices, to enable them to better service the aviation industry and support the COVID-19 recovery:
1. Immediate action must be taken to fill vacancies and address the gaps in technical capacity at CASA.
2. As both CASA and Airservices are undergoing significant workplace change, action should be taken to develop and implement a plan to mitigate workload intensification and psychosocial hazards among the workforce in consultation with staff, unions and workplace health and safety representatives.
3. CASA should improve their technical training:
- investigate, understand and agree on the training and currency requirements of all CASA technical positions and maintain that information centrally,
- develop a plan to ensure all CASA technical staff receive the training required to ensure CASA’s mission and meet the requirements of their roles
- ensure that where minimum levels of training are provided for in contracts and employment conditions, CASA has a plan to facilitate that training.
4. To improve staff engagement robust, inclusive, and transparent systems should be adopted which effectively engage with, and facilitate consultation with, employees on all aspects of workplace change including changes to operational procedures and policies, to ensure that:
- employees understand the intent of the change,
- employees have an opportunity to contribute their expertise to the change management process and avoid perverse outcomes and safety risks.
5. An independent, systemic review of CASA’s organisational culture must be undertaken to address the serious issues in culture, confidence, and engagement of employees
6. The reliance on the operation of industry, particularly commercial aviation, to generate funding for the functioning of CASA and Airservices has been demonstrated as
deficient. Alternative funding models should be investigated with a view to developing one robust enough to weather industry disruption such as that caused by COVID-19.
7. As Airservices Australia embarks on significant restructuring and expected downsizing, it is crucial that the agency maintains a critical mass of engineering and technical skills to remain an informed and competent technical service provider, capable of supporting the industry to recover from the COVID-19 downturn.
We hope that this submission is just the start of ongoing dialogue and that we can achieve support from the inquiry committee to adopt these recommendations.
Take the time to talk to your colleagues and encourage them to join with us! Join here.
Dale Beasley – Director ACT
Emma Parkinson – Organiser Victoria
Kimberley Rowney – Senior Organiser South Australia
Tamarah Rowlands – Senior Organiser Western Australia
Adrian Catt – Organiser New South Wales
Thomas Whibley – Organiser Queensland