The PSA met with the POVB delegates on 11 January to discuss Ranger gradings and classifications. The PSA wrote to Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) management on 22 December, formally inviting a senior representative to address the National Park delegates and to discuss issues affecting National Park Rangers.
OEH declined to respond to the invitation and disappointingly, no further discussions have taken place.
However, on 23 December at 3:50pm, the PSA received an undated without prejudice letter, signed by Mr Tony O’Donnell. The correspondence provided by OEH included a proposal of hard barriers and pay scales for Rangers, and sought agreement by close of business 12 January 2017.
In the correspondence, Mr O’Donnell acknowledged the Christmas shutdown period. However, the unrealistic timeframes to provide a response by 12 January was not taken into consideration. OEH would be well aware the PSA would not have time to talk to the membership and vote on any proposed Award variations, especially when this involves the potential diminution of conditions.
The PSA and OEH have been trying to negotiate a reasonable savings outcome since February 2016. The PSA has continually tried to engage OEH to form regional committees as per the 2010 Savings Implementation Plan to identify areas where savings could be made. OEH have repeatedly refused this request. Once again, OEH is threatening the conditions of the PSA membership without proper consideration of the savings that could be found when the parties work together.
The PSA remains of the opinion these savings can and will be found without attacking hard-won members’ conditions of employment.
In June 2016, OEH Deputy Chief Executive Michael Wright, provided PSA with assurances OEH Rangers would maintain conditions of employment through a grandfathering process. However, Mr Wright did not guarantee the ongoing employment of Rangers if hard barriers were to be introduced. There is little benefit in grandfathering conditions if Ranger positions are made redundant.
The PSA does not support a pyramid structure as proposed by OEH that reduces the knowledge and experience from the Ranger structure.
If a proper and considered proposal is put to the PSA for consideration in relation to changes to award conditions, the PSA will engage our membership before any agreement would be reached.
The PSA will endeavour to hold regional meetings of Rangers, but unfortunately during the height of the fire season, this in some cases is almost impossible to achieve at such short notice.
The PSA General Secretary Stewart Little remains resolute in preserving the conditions of employment for National Parks members. Any decision by OEH to seek an alternate Industrial Instrument as previously threatened would require the PSA to react accordingly.
The PSA will not be blackmailed into accepting any proposal which undermines our members’ current Award conditions. The PSA has now written to Mr Wright in response to the letter of demand, requesting further meetings with management. You can find the correspondence HERE.
Your PSA POVB Delegates are:
Sydney Metro – Anita Zubovic
South West Metro – Ben Owers/Raf Pedrosa
Illawarra – Jennifer Bean
South Coast – Alex Deura
Far South Coast – George Malolakis
Blue Mountains – Kim De Govrik
Far West – John Holcombe
North Coast – Peter Clark
Southern Ranges – Steve Carter
New England/Far North Coast – Ann Walton/Martin Smith
What can I do?
Speak to your fellow colleagues and get them interested in our campaign.
Ask a fellow worker to join the PSA so we are stronger together.