Parks workers Taking Action in Response to Department’s Bad Faith

Michael here, CPSU Organiser for our Parks & Wildlife Service, with an important update. 

It’s crunch time. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has consistently shown that they are unwilling to engage in good faith bargaining with workers attempting to negotiate a new Parks and Wildlife Agreement.   

Despite coming to an in-principle Agreement in November last year, the Department completely walked away from this agreement in the formal offer made last month. It looks nothing like what workers agreed to and does not address the systemic wage theft PWS members have experienced for years. 

I have been travelling the state to meet with members in Parks about this offer, and members have agreed to stand firm on our position. We gave the Department a deadline of 21 July to provide members with a formal offer in line with the November agreement. This deadline has come and gone, and the Department has failed to respond with a new offer.  

This continuous bad faith bargaining shows an incredible lack of respect for workers in our Parks. This can’t be allowed to continue. Workers are determined to take action for the respect they deserve.  

Members have resolved to a formal vote on whether to take Industrial Action in response. The ballot will close on 7 August. 

Workers across Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service work long days, often including weekends; sometimes far away from co-workers, friends or family. They sacrifice time with the people they care about to serve our community, protecting and showcasing Tasmania’s wild places for the world. It’s thanks to them that Tasmania gets to spruik its clean, green brand for the lucrative tourism industry. It’s thanks to them that travellers from around the world and locals alike get the best experience in ours parks and reserves.  

The conditions faced by workers in our Parks & Wildlife Service are arduous, and regularly filthy and dangerous. They often step up to deal with emergencies and fires. They work saves lives and livelihoods. They are respected and loved by the community at large. But treated as expendable by their employer.   

Workers deserve better than this. Only action is going to secure the conditions and respect they deserve. Show your support for workers in Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service by sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. If you work in Parks and have any feedback, questions or concerns, get in touch at mmcloughlin@tas.cpsu.com.au.  

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