NPWS NPVB bulletin - Public Service Association

NPWS NPVB bulletin

The National Parks Vocational Branch (NPVB) met on Monday 14 February to discuss a range of industrial issues affecting its members. Please see a summary of the issues below:


Uniform roll out seems to have missed out a vital step of asking office-based staff to trial their proposed uniform for style, function and comfort. The use of young, slim models in the information distributed to date does not engender any confidence that it will suit most staff.


The PSA is putting the NPWS Executive on notice that current  industrial action will continue if adequate resources are not provided for the new parks. Currently there is a work ban in place for the recently acquired reserves in Western Branch.


There is ongoing concern at the lack of support and resourcing for NPWS to carry out compliance and enforcement action in the parks. There needs to be a statewide database for offenders, more access to special investigators; legal advice and improved training. Compared to staff undertaking compliance and enforcement activities in the EPA or DPI Fisheries, NPWS staff feel unsupported when carrying out these duties.


The PSA has approached NPWS with a proposal that the NPWS Medallion be given to the bereaved families of staff whose lives have been lost at work. This will provide ongoing access to a free all-parks pass, and is considered an appropriate token of condolence.


NPVB delegates communicated concerns that this review and the implementation of the NPWS Data Management Strategy appears to be focused on meeting the needs for those requesting the data rather than the needs of those supplying the data. A key weakness in the process is the lack of engagement of Park Operations staff. As such, members are encouraged to lodge a submission giving their feedback, suggestions and complaints about corporate systems to the Park Support Mailbox or via the online form on Insite.


Some flexible work arrangements have been denied to Rangers. The ED memo that went out just before Christmas denies work from home as a future flexible work option for ranger staff. This is contrary to the message in the Department’s Flexible Work Toolkit that promotes a NSW Government commitment to making all roles in the government sector flexible by the end of 2019 on an ‘if not, why not’ basis. The pandemic response has demonstrated rangers ability to carry out duties including responding to incidents when working from home. They do not need a draconian rule that requires them to work from the office. They should also not be singled out – the NPWS award applies to all staff, not just rangers.


There are many inconsistencies in the application of the duty officer role across the state. It seems to have been assigned to rangers as a cost-cutting exercise and there is a risk to NPWS, park visitors and other staff if inexperienced rangers are expected to carry out the role. It is an important role that should be adequately resourced and supported, and only taken on by highly experienced staff.

Dear PSA member in NPWS

The National Parks Vocational Branch is your part of the PSA, and has an executive comprising delegates from across NPWS. Your NPVB delegates have been active lately, raising matters of concern to all NPWS staff. Some of this activity has been the subject of recent PSA bulletins but other work is behind the scenes at meetings with the NPWS executive. You can support the work of your delegates by paying an extra, tax-deductible contribution to the branch’s fighting fund. It is possible to contribute as little as $2 or $3 per fortnight through your pay to the “Nat.Parks Vocational Brch” by sending an email to .

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