All the latest news and views from the CPSU team
CPSU Week in Review – New agreements, funding on the agenda
Tassie parks need more boots on the ground
IN AUGUST 2016 the Parks & Wildlife Service publicly said there was no need for extra resources or funding, and Tourism Industry Council CEO Luke Martin called for an urgent examination of investment in National Parks, while Parks CPSU Members said, “there are no resources to manage the parks estate which has increased exponentially” and “the whole situation makes me feel sick”.
Now it’s 2017 and this week an ABC article is headlined, “Tasmanian National Parks infrastructure ‘not good enough’ say tourists”… our world famous National Parks need to be cared for, they need proper resourcing and staffing, they need more boots on the ground.
Your CPSU made a budget submission for more funding for our Parks & Wildlife Service and this year will be bargaining a new agreement to secure the resources staff need to protect our unique national parks and properly support our vital tourist industry.
Here are some key snippets from the ABC story:
Tasmania’s National Parks have attracted a record number of tourists this summer, prompting calls for urgent infrastructure upgrades to keep up with increasing demand. Tourism to the park had increased 10 per cent per year over the past four years, Freycinet National Park ranger in charge Richard Dakin said.
Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service said visitors to Cradle Mountain had increased 20 per cent in the past six months compared to the same period the year before. Cradle Mountain is expecting a record 250,000 tourists this year. Cradle Coast Authority regional tourism manager Ian Waller said visitors were disappointed with infrastructure at Cradle Mountain.
“The facilities just don’t meet their expectations and so they’re saying to us ‘it’s not good enough… We run the risk that they go home and say ‘that was pretty disappointing’, and that’s going to damage industry and we can’t afford to do that.”
The ABC article can be read in full here
Commissioner’s Report: Out of Home Care
CHILDREN’S Commissioner Mark Morrissey released his report into Out of Home Care last week – a report sparked by the 4 Corners expose about the failing of private providers and some NGOs.
Out of Home Care has been privatised in Tasmania and confusingly the report primarily focuses on what changes need to be made to the Child Safety Service to ensure providers such as Safe Pathways don’t put children at risk.
The Children’s Commissioner’s recommendations include the introduction of a visitor program for children in out of home care, a tribunal to allow children to appeal decisions made about them and the adoption of a set of standards for the provision of out of home care.
He also made it clear that without adequate resourcing neither the Out of Home Care Reform nor the Child Protection Service Redesign will be successful.
Minister Petrusma publicly accepted the recommendations in full and Premier Hodgman stated the recommendations would be considered – right now Tasmania spends less than any other state or territory on providing Out of Home Care.
The protection of at-risk kids isn’t a responsibility that can be handed over to third party providers – If our communities are to have trust in services then our public sector must be staffed and resourced to deliver services and hold outside providers to account.
“What children in the Tasmanian Child Protection and Out of Home Care systems need most is more Child Safety Officers so they can spend more time with each child taking care of their needs and those of their families,” said CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch.
“There’s no point Premier Hodgman crying crocodile tears about the state of our Child Protection and Out of Home Care systems, if he wants to fix the problems his government needs to allocate money in the budget, it’s that simple,” said Mr. Lynch.
CPSU has made a 2017/18 budget submission for the employment of 25 additional Child Safety Officers across our state to support families and help keep kids safe.
Port Arthur Historic Site Agreement
YOUR CPSU recently visited Port Arthur Historic Site staff to discuss their new agreement that’s being negotiated and the two major issues impacting Port Arthur Members: inequity in Banding for Tour Guides and an outdated loading for rostered day workers to compensate for weekend work.
Inequity in the banding means some of the Guides, who are integral to the award winning visitor experience at Port Arthur Historical site, aren’t compensated fairly for the work they do. A Band 1 officer shouldn’t work unsupervised and yet these dedicated Members lead tours.
Port Arthur staff currently receive a loading for working weekends and missing out on family time.
As a Member said, “The growth in tourism numbers in recent years has altered the work hours of PAHSMA tourism staff. The rostered day worker allowance needs adjustment to not only compensate for lost penalty rates but to also reflect the loss of work life balance such staff endure”.
Members rightly want the situation reviewed and the loading changed to reflect the increase in weekend work.
Port Arthur Management has put a package to Members which doesn’t commit to fixing these issues, only to discuss them during the life of the agreement.
Members will soon be voting on whether to accept the current package and wait another two years for these important issues to be resolved or to reject the offer and push for these issues to be resolved now.
We’ve seen the Save Our Weekend campaign gather steam right across Australia and the outdated loading for staff at Port Arthur demonstrates that it isn’t a campaign just for the private sector.
Click here to sign up to the Save our Weekend campaign
Hold Government to account on your Agreement
LAST year’s negotiations saw a new workplace agreement negotiated with no cuts, a wage rise that ‘technically’ broke the wages policy, and improvements to many of your conditions – we also won a range of commitments from government that could deliver real change around career progression and improved workplace rights.
These include reclassification arrangements, broad banding guidelines, developing shift arrangements for TSSA, workforce planning framework, policy around managing workplace behaviours, public sector workers as citizens policy and a youth recruitment program.
Now we must start the work to make sure government delivers on these commitments in a way that strengthens our public sector, so Bargaining Reference Groups are meeting soon to review the list of commitments and develop our plan of action.
The meetings will be short and sharp so you can attend in your break – just bring your lunch and we’ll provide cake and coffee.
If you’d like to come to one of these important meeting simply RSVP Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOBART: Feb 14, 12.30pm, CPSU Office, 157 Collins Street.
LAUNCESTON: Feb 21, 12.30pm, HACSU Office, 91 Paterson Street.
BURNIE: Feb 22, 12.30pm, LINC, 30 Alexander Street.