Shift overhaul on hold

A controversial proposal seeking to overhaul night shift arrangements for Latrobe Valley detectives has been placed on hold, pending the outcome of a challenge to the workplace commissioner.

It emerged last month Victoria Police was moving to abolish current on-call night shift positions in favour of dedicated night shifts, which could force a Morwell detective to respond to major crime incidents in Cowes.

The overhaul would see Eastern Division Five’s police service areas – Latrobe, Baw Baw, South Gippsland and Bass Coast – covered by two on-shift detectives in a shared responsibility arrangement between PSAs.

However Police Association assistant secretary Bruce McKenzie said the change would strain detectives’ physical and mental capabilities and erode service provision.

The association has taken a similar detective roster changes in the state’s west to the Fair Work Commission, which will arbitrate a decision in the new year.

“The Police Association is working hard to stop this from happening; and we know police leadership in the Gippsland region are looking very closely at the (FWC) outcome,” Insp McKenzie said.

“There has not been enough preparation for this change in arrangement with regard to detectives’ roles; it’s shown a total lack of understanding of how detectives do their work.”

While Latrobe PSA Inspector Mick West confirmed implementation of the proposal in ED5 had been put on hold, he declined to comment further.

“Management of the region are just holding back, just having a look at the options which are available to us,” Insp West said.