NPWS update – April 2020

Future roles casual employees in NPWS

The PSA has encouraged NPWS to consider casuals whose work has been affected by the closure of Visitor Centres and National Parks. We would like to see these staff used to assist with recovery work or any work that is consistent with their skill set. The PSA has been in talks with Public Sector Industrial Relations in order to secure employment for casuals right across the public sector, after many were originally told they would receive no further work in March.

DPIE Secretary Jim Betts has since confirmed that long-term casuals (those with greater than six months’ regular employment) will be continued to be employed until at least 25 September 2020. The PSA will continue fighting for employment with meaningful work beyond this point. To ensure casuals are protected from any job losses, we encourage non-members to join the PSA at www.psa.asn.au/join.

Demarcation dispute – Kosciusko National Park (KNP)

Recently the Industrial Relations Commission handed down its decision on this matter, finding in favour of the PSA. Hence the PSA will continue to have full coverage of Field Officers in KNP. The PSA is pleased this matter has been finalised.

NPWS JCC meeting

Deputy Secretary Atticus Fleming attended the meeting and acknowledged the efforts of members over the fire season. He indicated there is some uncertainty around the bushfire recovery work in terms of what will be covered by insurance and what funds will need to be covered internally. He also indicated there are no job cuts, just vacancies not being filled.

He stated there hasn’t been a reduction in firefighter numbers. He said NPWS will be identifying gaps and areas that need staff and will look at shuffling around resources to fill holes. The PSA asked that the training unit be looked at as a priority, as it has 50 per cent vacancy and we are at risk of compromising our RTO status. Management has committed to looking at it. There was no advice on resources for the pest program. For capital projects, funds for staff is built into the project allocation so overall NPWS staffing numbers are not affected.

HSRs

There has been no agreement on who will provide the HSR training package; the Department or the PSA. The DPIE stated it would refer the matter back to Safe Work NSW if no resolution is obtained. The PSA understands this has since happened. The Department wants to sort this out first before doing any review or calling for new nominations

WHS committees

The PSA was informed that the Director, Greater Sydney Branch would review the Greater Sydney committee. NPWS is still working out the structure of committee for 4PSQ. There seems to be several different ideas, but it is clear that having a committee based on geographical location alone hasn’t worked, so likely it will be a committee only for Park Programs staff in 4PSQ. 

Fatigue management and incident shifts

NPWS has agreed to look at the wording around shift patterns as part of the Fire Management Manual update. It claims the FMM already covers IMT shifts being three days, with five as optional. NPWS believes most IMT staff wish to work a five-day shift. This will be included in any review of the FMM. It is requested that examples of members being asked to take their second stand down as a flex/rec/RDO be forwarded to Payroll for resolution

Incident claim form

NPWS does not wish to circulate a bulletin on this issue and has requested any member who has been paid incorrectly to contact Payroll.

Housing

Advice was given that anyone needing housing in Greater Sydney should contact their manager.

Meetings with the PSA

The PSA is still operating and available for visits, whether they be face-to-face (with appropriate social distancing procedures in place and where circumstances allow), or via video and teleconferencing. If you would like to arrange a PSA meeting for your site, contact your NPWS Organiser Kim de Govrik at kdegovrik@psa.asn.au.

 

 

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