Issues for members in National Parks and Wildlife Service
On 6 May 2019 the PSA/POVB held its quarterly meeting and thereafter met with the Department to discuss a range of issues including:
New Departmental structure
The new Departmental structure appears to be a ‘work in progress’. Members have been advised of the latest structure with Anthony Lean, Chief Executive, NPWS in attendance. The PSA has written to the new Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, seeking a date for a meeting to discuss issues pertinent to our members. To date, no time has been set for this meeting.
Rangers’ Working Group
Martin Smith (the PSA/POVB representative on the RWG) briefed the POVB on how the RWG is progressing. Of concern is that no terms of reference has been developed for the Group. The PSA is hopeful this matter will be addressed in the near future. The general feedback is that a ‘one size fits all’ structure of ‘Specialist Rangers’ may not be successful throughout the diverse NPWS landscape of NSW which has a significant range of differing issues facing NPWS Rangers.
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
The PSA continues to progress the matter of having independent HSRs in workplaces to ensure that all workplaces are compliant with overarching Policy and Acts and Regulations pertaining to work health and safety. It also provides the capacity for ‘independent review’ of issues and situations that may present as a risk to members. The Department is following up on the establishment of HSRs in NPWS workplaces.
Calendar year for calculating leave
Following discussions this week, the Department has indicated to the PSA that it intends to proceed with calculating leave, public holidays and weekends worked by ‘financial year’, not ‘calendar year’. To ensure that no-one is disadvantaged, it is proposing a six-month transition phase commencing from 1 July 2019. The PSA is seeking further specific information to ensure there are no unintended negative consequences.
Following on from the PSA’s application for the release of the Gilligan Report, the POVB/PSA has obtained copies of associated documents to this Report. However, legal advice provided to the PSA advises the PSA cannot access the entire Report as it contains sensitive information.
NPWS allowances to uniformed officers
The Department was advised members in NPWS who do not receive the 17 per cent loading and who wear a uniform are entitled to laundry allowance. Management is following up on this issue.
Members’ contact list and recruitment of PSA members
With respect to the new NPWS/POVB delegates commencing this year, the POVB is currently creating a contact list to ensure that all information from the PSA; POVB meeting updates is easily disseminated to all members.
A delegate will be assigned as a contact person for your workplace. Please contact the PSA if you have not been advised of your workplace delegate in the coming weeks.
Rangers, Field Officers and Project Officers are well represented in NPWS. However, the PSA would like to hear from other classifications who would be interested in becoming an active delegates representing their classifications.
A number of new staff have joined NPWS during the restructure. If you are aware of any non-members, we would encourage all members and delegates to enquire as to whether those non-members would wish to join the PSA. Membership packages can be sent electronically and/or workplace visits can be arranged, or non-members can simply join by going on line (see link below).
Rangers Forum and RWG
A sign of goodwill was made by the NPWS Management in allowing PSA General Secretary Stewart Little and Kim de Govrik to address staff at the Rangers Forum.
The PSA would be happy to receive feedback from any members who attended the Forum with any concerns they may have with respect to matters discussed at the Forum.
UNITY AND MEMBERSHIP = STRENGTH!
Your PSA staff
Michael Sinclair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim de Govrik: email@example.com
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Ask a work colleague to join the PSA
- Distribute this bulletin to colleagues
- Set up a workplace meeting to discuss matters important to you
- Get involved and become an active PSA member
Not a member? Join online: www.psa.asn.au/join