On 7 November the PSA met with Planning and Environment to discuss Ranger recruitment and other matters. This recruitment action is almost complete with 44 Rangers being recruited. During the recruitment process 11 temporary Rangers applied for ongoing roles. Seven were appointed and a further four were unsuccessful. Fifty-six per cent of offers were to female applicants.
Further to this, the Ranger talent pool has almost been exhausted. This being the case, NPWS representatives at the meeting indicated that there would most likely be additional recruitment to fill further vacancies in the Ranger ranks. The PSA would encourage unsuccessful applicants to seek feedback from hiring managers prior to reapplying for further positions.
Temp Rangers who were unsuccessful should discuss their further employment and status of their contracts with their immediate supervisors. Parks representatives at the meeting also reiterated Rangers fulfil a critical role within NPWS structure and their value acknowledged.
National Parks budget
Despite no final budget being loaded into SAP, advice from the agency is that the budget will be loaded in the coming weeks. This should not act as a deterrent to spending. The budget has increased and there is no across the board decrease of 10 per cent in this year’s budget. However budgets may vary from workplace to workplace depending upon priorities.
Visitor centres staffing and administrative support
Some offices that have a visitor centre capacity were once regional offices with a significant number of staff for clerical support. With changes to the structure this administrative support may have been reduced. National Parks indicated that due to declining visitation to these centres and many bookings going online this in part, justifies a reduction in administrative staff. Further to this, Parks representatives advised that Grade ½ Clerical staff need to understand their role and work to these duties.
The PSA raised concerns members were directed to undertake functions of higher graded roles that had been deleted in the recent NPWS restructure and have not been remunerated accordingly. The PSA advises members to undertake the duties of their Role Description and NOT the functions of the higher graded role that have deleted. If you believe you have been performing the duties at a higher grade and not been remunerated for, please contact the PSA.
The implementation of special projects was also discussed at the meeting. PSA advised management that whilst we supported members being provided the opportunity to work on such projects it did not support special projects that did not have an adequate Labour Expense Cap to cover backfilling and additional staff costs including overtime.
This creates a situation in the workplace that requires staff to cover the workload of any staff member co-opted to work on such projects.
The PSA welcomes NPWS proactive approach to deal with bullying in the workplace. NPWS management spoke passionately about acceptable behaviours iwn 2018. The Executive Directors advised there will be a new package to educate managers and staff on acceptable behaviour and will be visiting is work sites in the coming weeks.
Your PSA staff
Kim de Govrik
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