Taronga Zoo Joint Consultative Committee update: Keepers, grade progression and more - Public Service Association

Taronga Zoo Joint Consultative Committee update: Keepers, grade progression and more

JCC Update - June 2021 (PDF version)

On 31 May 2021, PSA Industrial staff and your local Taronga Zoo delegates met with senior management for the quarterly Joint Consultative Committee (JCC). Many items affecting PSA members were discussed and outcomes are detailed below.

Keeper skills book

The PSA raised concerns around some staff being denied a Keeper skills book due to the new book currently being in development. Senior management confirmed that the current skills books are to be used until the new books are developed and distributed. The PSA has also requested to be involved in the creation of the new skills book. If you or anyone you know is being denied a skills book please contact PSA Organiser Chris Bird at .

Temp Keeper and Casual Keeper grading

The PSA has begun initial conversations with senior management around Keepers being employed on temporary contracts climbing grades only to be returned to Keeper Level 1 upon reinstatement on a casual basis. The PSA also understands that despite being returned to the Keeper 1 pay scale, these staff are still expected to carry out the work they performed at higher grades while on temp contracts. This is due to a condition in the Taronga Conservation Society Australia Salaried Employees Award which states casual keepers will only be paid at either Trainee Keeper 1 or Keeper 1 salary rates. The PSA will continue discussions to find a solution that works best for staff and the animals they care for.

Increment and grade progression

The PSA has heard from concerned members they have been held back arbitrarily from increment and/or grade increases. The PSA raised this concern with senior management and will be handing these instances on a case-by-case basis. If you believe you have been held back from a progression without good reason, please contact the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

Bullying and harassment

Many staff members have contacted the PSA regarding other senior staff members’ conduct. We have advised Taronga that if this continues that we will engage SafeWork to perform an independent investigation. The PSA takes bullying and harassment of our members very seriously. If you feel you are the victim of such behaviour, please contact the Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679

Casual staff audit

The PSA previously requested an audit of all casual staff. Taronga did not provide this at this meeting and PSA will be following up.

Current establishment

The PSA has requested a current establishment list for all staff covered by the PSA. We will provide an update upon receipt.

Backfilling of roles

The PSA raised concerns around roles not being backfilled when staff take short leave. The PSA’s position is that all roles should be backfilled using the casual staff pool.

E-list continuation

Taronga had confirmed during 2020 the e-list would be extended due to COVID-19, however management advised us that they weren’t aware of who was on the list.

The PSA has provided a list of staff that have been identified as being on the current e-list.

Directed to meetings with supervisors/managers

Members have advised of being directed to meetings with managers/supervisors only to be advised of performance or misconduct issues. If this is the case request an agenda prior to attending the meeting. If you have been not provided with an agenda and you have concerns, please contact your PSA delegates or Member Support Centre on 1300 772 679.

Upcoming members’ meeting

The PSA will also be holding a workplace meeting at Taronga Zoo Sydney at 12:30PM on Wednesday, 16 June 2021 in the Hort Shed.


Sydney Delegates
Claudia Bianchi
Emma Bembrick
Simon Faithfull
Toby Johnson

Dubbo Delegates
Joel Kerr
Kevin Milton

PSA Industrial Officer
Michael Sinclair

PSA Organiser
Chris Bird  

Please encourage your colleagues to join the union and come along to the meeting. Non-members can join online at www.psa.asn.au/join

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