by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Maritime Logistics Community News : Autumn 2009
naVY SuPPLY nEWSLEttER autumn 2009 37 that affected Writer Sailors, the welfare, training and employment was always considered by both Navy and DSG, including Divisional care and a robust Divisional structure. I acknowledge that some Writer sailors have been affected by the change, particularly those employed at HMAS CAIRNS and HMAS COONAWARRA. I thank all personnel for their cooperation and assistance in ensuring a smooth and professional transition. Through effective cooperation, engagement and discussion between Navy and DSG, a positive and pragmatic outcome has been achieved. Although this is a short to medium term arrangement, continued discussion and building of relationships will ensure that further manpower and employment changes are well considered and in the best interests of both Groups. a ViEW FRom tHE CountER LSWTR Cheryl Young As most of you will be aware, Defence Support Group (DSG), the group that I work for, centralised pay processing to the PAC located in Raymond Terrace, NSW in 2008. This resulted in the closure of regional pay offices, including HMAS COONAWARRA. The closing of regional pay offices required Navy and DSG to find a viable solution that continued to provide employment for Writers in essential geographical locations. For HMAS COONAWARRA, the agreement was for my position to relocate to the Customer Service Centre Larrakeyah. This is the first time that Writers have been employed in the Customer Service Centres (CSC) and it has been a good experience. Larrakeyah is a Tri-Service base which means as a Customer Service Officer (CSO) I deal with not only Navy but also Army and Air Force members. The majority of our customers are from CWA and Patrol Boats needing assistance or advice. My priority at the CSC is to check and forward Pay related paper work to the PAC for transactions. This process though has become more involved and long winded. Due to the nature of multi crewing and the fact boats do not have writers onboard, most of this information comes from the Coxswains onboard and paperwork is not their favourite thing! I still check this paperwork firstly, to see if any action is necessary and secondly, try and catch any problems before they hit pay or to stop them happening all together. Once it is checked I then have to enter it into IEnterprise, scan it and then email it. The transition from Writers doing data entry to the PAC taking it over has been relatively smooth but at times has been extremely frustrating. A transaction that I would normally have processed and sorted out in a matter of minutes ends up several phones calls and emails later to get the same result all the while I have an angry member glaring at me to fix the problem. I am still doing SVA checks fortnightly to try and pick up any errors. Again due to the nature of loan postings etc in Darwin I have found doing the SVA checks really helpful in picking up problems before they become real issues. I also deal with general issues with pay like promotions and pay grade changes etc. Leave and Travel is a very large part of what we do as a CSO in Darwin especially due to Remote Location Leave Travel entitlements. Members bring in their leave and travel and this information is then entered into IEnterprise, scanned and emailed to the PAC and travel. Once the travel is received back, we then have to issue any cab charges, if necessary, and contact members to come and collect their itinerary. We deal with a wide variety of general issues and the CSC seems to be where most members come to find out about what they need to do or who they need to go to. We have found that some members who see the uniform will make a beeline straight for me even if I am busy with someone else they will prefer to wait. I try to steer the members to the other CSOs and the majority of the L-R LSWTR C. YOUNG, MRS J. BURSLE AND MS G. WANT. CSC STAFF AT HMAS COONAWARRA. time the member is assisted without my input and they are on their way. Obviously, as time goes on and members get used to the situation, they will realise that the Civilian CSO can answer their questions just as easily as I could. Pay processing times is an issue that has and can cause a member to become angry quite quickly. I have had some pay fortnights where we have sent the paperwork off on the Tuesday or Wednesday and it still misses the pay cut off. The problem is the member is expecting the transaction to be processed by a certain date and we only find out that it has not been processed after cut off. Whilst we do have positions where Writers are still processing pay, they seem to be becoming less and less. I personally feel we are taking knowledge and experience away from the Writers by taking data entry positions away. However, there will still be an expectation that Writers will have the same level of knowledge as they do now. I have noticed that a Writer located in the role of a CSO in a CSC is expected to have greater knowledge than a civilian CSO, particularly with regard to Pay. With data entry becoming less of a Writer’s role, this is part of the knowldge which is likely to diminish and I think will cause issues in the future. I think when DSCM post new Leading Seaman Writers (LSWTRs) into these CSO roles; they will need to ascertain the LSWTR’s knowledge. They could not or should not post a LSWTR who has never done pay into this role. It is flat out pretty much every day in the CSC. This is good as the day goes quickly but bad that I am unable to cross train the civilian CSOs in my role as they are already busy with travel and other enquiries. I also think some CSCs could generate enough work for two positions. I believe that an AB/SMN position should be also situated in the CSC so that they can also benefit from the knowledge that can be learnt and that there is always a back up. At this stage, I believe the CSOs would struggle if required to do my job on top of their current roles. The paperwork I generate has increased their paperwork by 50% and that does not include the enquiries I receive and the time it takes to find the answers. It seems even more pertinent to introduce a SMN/AB into CSCs as work loads increase and these members can benefit from On the Job Training (OJT) which would put them in good stead for future postings, particularly with regard to pay. Working within a CSC can provide Writers the opportunity to learn excellent customer service skills. Customer service skills are a core skill of a Writer and working in a CSC is an excellent teaching tool. The one thing I have found so far is that you are always learning as you never know what question you will be asked. You need to access the PACMAN and Defgrams regularly to make sure the information you are giving out is as up to date as possible. Overall, I believe that these positions will make for better Writers; due to knowledge gained and a better customer service skill learned. I think that we, as uniformed members, need to step up and overcome this stigma of working with Civilians. Believe it or not, there are things that can be learnt from them just as we can teach them about our lifestyle and why we do what we do. I think that more CSCs should have uniformed members in them to work beside our civilian counter-parts for better service from both uniform and civilian personnel.