NPWS: POVB October update
Vacancies on POVB executive
The POVB executive has a couple of vacancies and we encourage members to consider become a Delegate. The strength of the vocational group is in having a full complement of active, strong Delegates prepared to support members, advocate on their behalf and recruit new members.
Contact details of our existing Delegates are at the end of this bulletin.
Machinery of Government (MoG)
The PSA has concerns about the implications of the MoG changes for NPWS staff and the move of most Sydney-based Park Programs staff to Parramatta.
While acknowledging the positive that NPWS will retain its public face as an agency in the Department of Planning Industry and Environment, the PSA is worried NPWS will not be immune from potential restructures or job and budget cuts despite the recent and traumatic Future NPWS restructure which was brought in with the promise of a sustainable and fully funded structure.
Members should notify the PSA about any issues suggesting budget and job cuts by stealth by contacting the Member Support Centre at 1300 772 679. The POVB remind staff that they should not be carrying extra work due to management decisions not to fill vacancies or backfill extended or parental leave.
Payment of allowances
POVB has raised an issue over flying and uniform allowances to all staff in clerk-graded positions whose work involves flying in light aircraft or wearing a uniform. These allowances are entitlements under the General Public Service Award but NPWS lacks any system to claim them.
The PSA has raised this matter in several meetings with the NPWS Executive Directors over the past nine months. POVB delegates remind affected members (such as the various clerical-graded ‘project officers’ involved in pest, fire management or data capture, or team leaders) to record any time spent in light aircraft or helicopters as part of their work duties.
The PSA will seek retrospective payment of these allowances for members. The flying allowance is an extra $21.70 per hour whilst flying. The uniform allowance is a flat $5 per week. These are already factored into the salaries for Rangers, Senior Rangers and other positions established under the NPWS Award – but not clerks.
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs)
On a more positive note, the PSA is pleased to announce agreement on establishing 38 HSRs across NPWS and 12 across Biodiversity and Conservation Division. These HSR positions are critical to ensure staff have another pathway for reporting non-compliance with WHS legislation. The former OEH executive refused to establish them despite a request from the PSA. It took the threat of action by SafeWork NSW, initiated by a report from PSA, before management agreed to their creation.
Girls go Green!
The POVB – inspired by one of the Delegates who turned up to the meeting with green hair – has contributed $1000 to the Girls Go Green. This fundraiser for the Thin Green Line is assisting rangers from developing countries in the Asia/Pacific to attend this year’s World Ranger Congress in Nepal. We acknowledge that some NPWS staff will be attending the World Ranger Congress next month at their own expense, and wish them an enjoyable learning experience networking with colleagues from around the world.
NPWS/DPIE pay rise negotiated by the PSA
You should have noticed a recent increase in your fortnightly pay. The PSA reminds members that this 2.5 per cent pay rise does not happen automatically – it required numerous appearances by the PSA in the Industrial Relations Commission and the threat of arbitration before the NSW Government agreed to it.
The NSW Government now recognises the benefit as the extra spending by public servants will stimulate the NSW economy. So, enjoy the extra pay and remember to thank your union, not the Government. And if you know a non-member suggest that they join the PSA and contribute to the costs of obtaining the pay rise (which is funded from members’ fees).
Finally, the PSA is following up rumours that only 1.5 per cent of this pay rise has been funded by the Government.
Support the POVB
The POVB is funded by members’ contributions. Your contribution assists members of the POVB who are injured at work or fall on hard times and need a little extra financial help, and provides contributions to Rangers working in other areas of the world such as Africa who have very limited resources.
The POVB fund also supports members who require assistance from POVB delegates who have specialised knowledge of NPWS industrial issues, and provides additional resources for special meetings such as the POVB AGM. If you do not currently contribute to the POVB through payroll, you need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting payroll deductions be made to the POVB.
Most members contribute $2 per pay, but the amount is voluntary. You can contribute more if you want.
Greater Sydney – Tegan Burton
Blue Mountains – Ben Owers
North Coast – Martin Smith
South Coast (including Wollongong) – Alex Deura
Southern Ranges – Danny Corcoran
Northern Inland – Janet Cavanaugh
West – Johann Keno Brueggemann
Hunter Central Coast – Tegan Burton
Head Office Park Programs staff (Parramatta/Hurstville/Goulburn St) – Anita Zubovic