National Parks and Wildlife Service and Office of Environment and Heritage member bulletin
The PSA is embarking on a ‘Save The State – Change the Government’ campaign in the lead up to the State election on 23 March. In a recent meeting with the NPWS POVB at PSA House Penny Sharp (Deputy Opposition Leader) indicated that if Labor were to win Government a stand-alone NPWS would be created (again) with the Head of Parks as a direct report to the Minister. This would be a great outcome for NPWS members. The PSA is asking that members support the PSA campaign to change the Government. Contact the PSA or your local delegate to see how you can assist with the campaign. You can also visit www.psa.asn.au/save-the-state to see more about the campaign.
Staff duties and roles post NPWS restructure
Some workplaces that have a visitor centre, front counter capacity or were once regional offices with a significant number of staff for clerical support have, post restructure, had their administrative support significantly reduced at many locations. Rangers and other staff are being expected to cover for the shortfall by taking on a range of administrative duties. Further to this the PSA advises that Grade ½ and ¾ Clerical staff need to understand their role and work to these duties.
The PSA clearly supports ALL members only undertaking the duties of their Role Description and NOT to perform the duties of higher paid staff or staff that have not been backfilled or have left the agency.
If you believe you have been performing the duties at a higher grade please contact the PSA.
Ranger Working Group (RWG)
During the development of this group the Department did not consult on its formation, nor was there any call for nominations for the group across the NPWS. The PSA has had to lobby the Department to enable a NPWS POVB delegate to be part of the group. The PSA is pleased to advise that Martin Smith (Ranger, Coffs Harbour) is now our representative on the group. The group is currently discussing the role of the Ranger and whether Rangers are better utilised by undertaking more of a functional role. The PSA is concerned as to how this will affect Rangers capacity to obtain their competencies and workload issues when 70% of their time is proposed to be spent on a functional role and how they will continue to manage their reserves and stakeholders. The PSA believes this is simply an attempt to ‘fill gaps’ with the departure of so many specialists during the restructure. Instead of expecting Rangers to fill this gap the NPWS should be recruiting additional pest management offices, etc to fill the void. You will be kept informed as to any outcomes from the group.
PSA GIPA request to see the ‘Gilligan Report’
The POVB/PSA is continuing to pursue the release of the report or any information that was provided for the investigation into the incident. At this stage the PSA has been advised that due to ‘legal privilege’ the report cannot be released.
However information in relation to the report may be able to be released. The PSA is continuing to pursue the release of this information.
NPWS allowances to uniformed officers
With many staff transitioning to the clerical classification and pay scales from other classifications and scales in the NPWS Award they may now be entitled to allowances that they could not access under the Parks Award on such scales as the Rangers Classification. These allowances include flight; laundry; Kosciuszko and diving allowance. You will be kept informed as to the outcome of negotiations between the PSA and the department on this matter.
Members contact lists and recruitment of PSA members
Further to this many new staff have joined NPWS during the restructure. The PSA is keen to discuss the benefits of joining any new staff to the PSA. If you know of any non-member we would encourage all members and delegates to enquire as to if they would like to join the PSA. Membership packages can be sent electronically; workplace visits arranged or they can simply join by going on line (see below). Remember:
UNITY AND MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS = STRENGTH!
Your PSA staff
Kim de Govrik
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 at www.psa.asn.au/join