PERSPECTIVE A Publication of the Community & Public Sector Union / Victorian Branch www.cpsuvic.org
SULKS then SKULKS
The State Government lodged writs in the
Federal Court last month seeking unspecified
damages against 36 of our members who work
as expert forensic scientists for refusing to place
their own health and safety in jeopardy.
Incorrect allegations about drug handling
processes were leaked to a newspaper and this
impugned the reputation of all forensic officers
who face cross examination while giving expert
evidence in drug and alcohol cases.
These members just asked for a public
statement of support from Chief Commissioner
This was unprecedented action by State Labor
using Work Choices to seek fines against
employees, while bypassing all existing dispute
resolution mechanism and the Industrial
Relations Commission, and rendering void their
own health and safety laws by going straight to
the Federal Court.
The matter was settled via mediation much
to the delight of our members (pictured outside Our Forensic Experts outside the Federal Court
the Federal Court) with all issues to be dealt
with as had been requested the previous week. while it prosecutes other employers every day the issuing of the writs against the individuals
The Government stands to reap windfall for breaching theirs. who were served at work and home.
gains if it is allowed to avoid its own health and Police Minister Bob Cameron and Industrial Suffice to say that all our relationships with
safety obligations to its public sector employees Relations Minister Rob Hulls both authorised this State Government have soared.
“Happy Workers – Healthier Parks”
MELBOURNE SERVICE CENTRE
Level 1, 128 Exhibition Street,
Melbourne - opp SX
SGE Direct on 1300 36 44 00
On Line: http://www.sgecu.com.au Working for Parks Victoria provides many diverse and unique opportunities in roles all
Ph: 03 9652 8333 over the state. While the different locations are often spectacular, they can also be quite
Fax: 03 9654 0480 isolated. Six officers share some insight into their life caring for our state. Share their
Mon - Fri 9.00am - 5.00pm stories on Page 3
BSB: 802 035
December 2008 1
They’re a versatile mob,
A rare and valued breed,
They’re not guided by,
Power, status or greed!
They’ll build you a shelf,
They’ll find you a book,
Pictured with her 1967 Hot Pink HR Holden (the
Babemobile) CPSU member and Business
Manager at Frankston Special Developmental
School Jillian Lewis participates in the Variety
Bash each year.
The Bash is run through the Australian
outback and being cooped up in a car for 8 to
14 days in the heat, dust, mud and corrugations,
overcoming breakdowns, and the odd bulldust
hole is not everyone’s cup of tea but Jillian
1. Pristine Living
A passion for the outdoors and Victoria’s
The purpose of the Bash is to raise money for thinks it’s a lot of fun. spectacular natural environment makes living
They’ll fix up your rolls, disadvantaged and special kids in Victoria This will be Jillian’s twelfth Bash and in that
Teach kids how to cook. and working in remote Mallacoota a constant
through Variety. time, the team of 3 woman have raised over pleasure for Daryl Burns, Ranger in Charge for
They answer phone calls, The cars have to be over 30 years old (the $100,000 for the kids.” Far East Gippsland.
Babemobile is 40 years young) and decorated The girls are always looking for donations “It’s a place of outstanding beauty, even in stations at Gabo Island and Point Hicks, and a Living in a remote community has made the
That aren’t always nice, to attract attention. for Variety.
They deal with cockroaches, the midst of winter when the days are short and range of conservation and heritage reserves. recent achievements of CPSU’s negotiations
the wind howls and the rain comes in While Mallacoota – more than five hours from for Parks Victoria workers all the more welcome.
Water pipes and mice. horizontally. Melbourne and over two hours to the nearest major “Obviously increased remuneration is a
They feed hungry mouths, The awesome power of the Southern Ocean town centre – is isolated, Daryl feels privileged to significant improvement given the costs
is something magnificent,” says Daryl, who work amid such a unique environment. associated with living in a remote location,”
And they pay the bills, “The Croajingolong National Park contains says Daryl.
moved to Mallacoota with partner Allison, also
They support and teach, a Parks Victoria employee, over five years ago. two of the three Coastal Wilderness Areas in “If you think fuel and groceries are expensive,
And they balance the tills. Though it wasn’t an easy decision to move, Victoria and Mallacoota lies between these,” consider the costs for folk living in remote
with most of Daryl’s family based in Victoria’s he says. communities.”
They listen to our problems,
western district, the couple were attracted by “In conjunction with managing offshore
They’ll sort out the odd fight, the outstanding beauty the region has to islands including Gabo Island and two Marine
They’ll deal with students, offer.Under Daryl’s care is a diverse array of National Parks, it’s a diverse park estate.
They’re always polite! parkland, including four terrestrial national The opportunity to work in environments such
parks, two marine national parks, two light as these is not replicated anywhere else in
We thank you all, Victoria.”
For your efforts and time, Still, Daryl and Allison, who welcomed their
From the principals, leaders, first child recently, do feel the pinch of living in
And those on the front line. a far-flung location. Daryl says organisation
and forward-thinking is key.
From the top of our heads, “My planning has become very efficient,” he
To the tip of our toes, says.
Oh what would we do “When you do head out of town you make
every trip count and often end up coming home
Without our SSO’s. with the car fully loaded, often with parcels for
The same applies with work activities in the
TIMOR LESTE “The Croajingolong National Park contains
two of the three Coastal Wilderness Areas in
parks I manage, many of the materials and
supplies we need are ordered some months in
advance to ensure we have them when works
Daryl Burns, Ranger in Charge, Mallacoota
“attracted by the outstanding beauty the
region has to offer”
2. Star Qualities with it and knocking him out cold. caused some initial concern, Dave is satisfied
Equal Rights for Augusto Da Costa from the National Directorate
of Labour Relations for the new Government of
The visit is part of the continuing exchange
and learning program established by former From meeting Steve Bracks on a family Then there was the day he sold a park permit
to a familiar looking chap who he couldn’t
he’s got a pretty good set up living in a large
town with handy access to the spectacular flora
canoeing holiday to dodging tiger snakes, David
Construction Timor Leste called on CPSU as part of his visit to
Victoria recently for talks about the structures of
Premier Steve Bracks between our State
Government and the Government of Timor Ryan has enjoyed enough colourful experiences quite place by the name of Barker.
Months later he realised the friendly camper
and fauna within the parks and has no plans to
in his 22 years as a Parks Victoria ranger in
Workers! civil service unions, his role in establishing public
sector institutions and the new Timor Leste
Leste. Augusto Da Costa is pictured here with
CPSU officials Karen Batt and Jim Walton and Nelson that he’s able to tell a few good yarns was in fact Australian actor Don Barker.
Still, it doesn’t take a celebrity encounter for
“The natural world has been a passion of
mine for many years and can be very
Unions have launched a new campaign government’s desire to set minimum wages and Justin Larkin (far left) from Workforce Victoria about life on the job.
There was the time Dave tried to assist a colleague Dave to appreciate he’s got a pretty amazing rewarding,” he says.
supporting equal rights for construction union structures throughout the civil service. formally IRV. job caring for the Lower Glenelg National Park “A task such as a bird survey along the beach
workers, and fighting John Howard’s special release a heavy winch while moving an old rainwater
tank and ended up hitting him between the eyes and Discovery Bay Coastal Park. can provide many unexpected delights such as
industrial laws that help big construction “I honestly believe that to be selected a coming across Leopard Seals from the Antarctic
companies. custodian of some of Victoria’s unique or migratory birds which have come from
To visit the campaign website and view the environments and manage them to the best of overseas.
latest TV ad http://www.rightsonsite.org.au our ability is really worthwhile,” says Dave. I enjoy the great diversity that our parks and
“In early days of employment I was involved reserves offer and I am doing essentially what
in small mammal trapping and was fortunate in has been my hobby for most of my life.”
seeing things that very few people have seen.
The South West is renowned for orchid
species and I have been lucky enough to observe
Public Perspective is a publication of the and photograph many of these.
Community and Public Sector Union, SPSF The other rewarding aspect is the people
Group (Victorian Branch), authorised by Karen that I have met and worked with – I have worked
Batt, CPSU Victorian Branch Secretary. with absolutely dedicated and some not-so-
Rosella Complex, 6 Palmer Parade, Richmond dedicated people and I have always been
East, VIC 3121 curious about people who work in these
Postal Address: PO Box 4355, Richmond East, wonderful environments and haven’t been
VIC 3121 captivated by all aspects of park management.”
T: (03) 9639 1822 or toll free on 1800 810 Dave lives in Mt Gambier with his wife
153 Elizabeth and drives 40 kilometres to and from
F: (03) 9662 4591 E: email@example.com David Ryan, Ranger, Nelson “doing work each day. “a pretty amazing job caring for the Lower
W: http://www.cpsuvic.org Although the recent spikes in fuel prices Glenelg National Park”
essentially my hobby for most of my life.”
2 December 2008 December 2008
Park Life 3
3. Living the Dream Jo always wanted to work within parks and
Joanne Jones’s love affair with Wilsons couldn’t believe her luck when she was given
Promontory started when she used to holiday an opportunity fresh from her studies in Natural
there as a kid with her family. Resource Science.
It grew when she was offered her dream job “I had a dream to become a park ranger and
of working for Parks Victoria and being based was extremely lucky to be offered the
there. Information Officer role at Parks Victoria,” she
Then it fully bloomed when she met her says.
husband-to-be, Dan, on the job in 2000. “I really enjoyed administration and decided
It’s no surprise the two chose one of the my skills were better suited to that area rather
islands off the coast of the Prom as the backdrop than as a park ranger.”
for their wedding. Now team leader administration and A Publication of the Community & Public Sector Union / Victorian Branch www.cpsuvic.org
In-principle Agreement gets closer for AMES members
as work towards a new Agreement that will deliver
YEAR IN REVIEW
pay rises and improved conditions for employees in
Sydney and Melbourne is finalised.
A number of concerns are raised with CPSU over the
process to develop the Departmental Organisational
Strategy with questions regarding the terms of
reference and consultation at DIIRD.
Joanne Jones, Team Leader Wilsons The existing ParksVictoria EBA expires on December
Promontory – “with improved leave 6th and despite months of negotiations PV
management is still to yet offer a package that will
provisions has come at a welcome time” improve pay and conditions for the future while CPSU
management support, Jo is still enthusiastic has been pursuing a number of provisions to benefit
about her job with Parks Victoria and life living working families now and into the years ahead.
on the Prom. A review and endorsement process has taken place
and CPSU has been asked to consider the eleven
“I work with a great team. We have a fairly practice instructions which have been reviewed by 20
large team, which means there are great youth justice (JJ) workers across all regions, by
opportunities to try different roles and get a members of the manual review reference group and
range of work experience,” she says. DHS legal services branch before final endorsement
“Being so remote and for many of us we are and publication.
Discussions commence with child protection
away from family and normal support networks, members about the rural after hours (RAH) Stand
we are probably closer knit than in other Alone model.
locations.” Negotiations for a new Agreement at the Royal
While Jo admits being 45 minutes from the Botanic Gardens ends as union members and RBG ParksVictoria attempts to implement a unilateral is a hot topic in many members’ workplaces and
reach an in principle agreement on a range of change to hours by stealth after certain SW employees CPSU receives calls at this time of the year about the
nearest town centre means she has to be are directed to commence an hour later than their workplace environment and issues or guide to working
organised in keeping her fridge and freezer improvements.
CPSU receives many calls and emails from schools usual start time after PV justifies these directions as in seasonal heat.
stocked, she relishes in the rare opportunity she who are struggling with the School Start Bonus process instructions coming from DSE as a result of fire rosters. Changes to the recreational leave arrangements for
has to live in a national park. and the union says ‘let’s make it real time’ by calling Dr Chris Duffy, the Health and Safety representative Sheriff’s accompanied by roster changes at the
“To live in a national park is an experience on our SSOs to fill in our survey about the processing for DoE Western Metropolitan Region, Allied Health Bendigo Office leads to significant consternation as
not many people have. issues. workers, wins the prestigious Gayle Smith Award for Officers argue that any changes to long-standing
CPSU is committed to ensuring our members are his significant contribution to OHS in the workplace. work arrangements will impact significantly on family
To be able to finish work and head to the Union Summer’s 3 week internship with CPSU has life, and family responsibilities commitments and
beach or off on a bushwalk straightaway is protected from bullying behaviour at work and
launches an anti-bullying survey at the State Library launched a number of projects that have successfully responsibilities, as well as other personal and
fantastic,” she says. after a number of members expressed their concerns built young member involvement in the union movement, recreational activities and commitments..
CPSU’s new EBA with improved leave of unreported bullying in their workplace. and the program will again be run in 2008. CPSU in conjunction with SGE Credit Union launches
provisions has come at a welcome time for Jo, The process of setting up a Consultative Committee The transition of some Office of Children staff into our tertiary scholarship program again this year,
at OPP to provide a forum through which members the new Department of Education and Early awarding $750 per year to support those members
who is expecting her first child on Boxing Day.
you a better deal.
and officers and management can meet on a regular Childhood Development raises questions prior to and their families attempting a suitable tertiary course
“Being a Parks Victoria employee provides expressions of interest being called. with a demonstrated need.
basis to deal with relevant changes, issues or concerns
me with opportunities and flexibility that I would is begun. Work begins to develop a new Salary and
not get elsewhere,” says Jo. CPSU meets with representatives of Industrial JANUARY ‘08: Remuneration structure that provides Victorian Legal
“Parks Victoria employees are so lucky to Relations Victoria in an attempt to reach in-principle Prison Health Issues are again raised when the PD is Aid members with benefits unavailable under the
have the flexibility to return to work part-time agreement for Ministerial staffers by the end of this called to a meeting with CV on condoms in Prisons existing structure.
until the child is school age. year to ensure that any possible delays in the effective and CPSU requests to reconvene a working party and
UNION SHOPPER IS date of future pay rises is minimised. also inquires about CV’s stance on needle exchange FEBRUARY:
At no cost to you, Having paid leave to attend ante-natal
ScienceWorks members meet to discuss the on in Prisons, to which CV Commissioner states that The Pride March is on again and like last year when
appointments means I do not have to use my again, off again, unilateral ‘announcement’ of Victoria, along with all other Australian states, have over 50 unionists from a variety of trade unions
ALL ABOUT ENSURING we help save time accrued sick leave and paid maternity leave for changes to opening hours, purportedly a later closing rejected the suggestion. marched under the combined UNION PRIDE banner
MEMBERS RECEIVE 14 weeks means the impact of taking unpaid time of 5pm from Boxing Day this year. With so many likely very hot days ahead of us, heat in support of GLBTI workers, this year’s march will
leave is a little less stressful.” show that trade unions support the workplace rights
GREAT VALUE FOR of all Victorian workers.
SSOs start the school year with CPSU commencing
MONEY ON WHATEVER negotiations for our new SSO Agreement.
University staff welcome the announcement that the
YOU ARE LOOKING former Howard Government’s forced offering of
AWA’s to staff has ended.
TO BUY. Notification is received from DHS about a proposed
restructure of the Child Protection Program in the
North West Metropolitan Region.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces a national
apology will be delivered in Federal Parliament to
the stolen generations.
Advice is provided to our school based members
Contact Union Shopper today about stop work action being undertaken by Teachers
under the Federal Workplace Relations Act as part of
Enterprise Bargaining negotiations for their next
Big Savings for Union Members “to live in a national park is an experience Teacher Agreement.
not many people have” A relatively short Parliamentary Officers Agreement
is negotiated due to the need to align Parliament with
4 Park Life December 2008
Year in Review – December 2008 1
the expiry date of the Victorian Public Service The complaints process has been a matter of concern In a last minute change of heart, and to avoid an
Agreement as the Career (classification) Structures to the union and our WorkCover inspector members appearance at the Australian Industrial Relations
have similar pay rates. for some time and a meeting is held where concerns Commission, D EECD in Southern Metropolitan
The election notice is published as nominations for about the process for complaints against inspectors Region has agreed to consult with SSSOs in the Glen
all CPSU Victorian Branch elected officials including is discussed. Eira Network about the restructure of their work.
delegates to the Branch Council. The OPP Workload Review Report is released as CPSU Working in DEECD is confirmed as no picnic when
CPSU receives a formal request from members to secures extra time for staff to access and read the the latest data release from WorkSafe on WorkCover
assist with OHS elections in DEECD which may Report to provide their feedback. claims in the Education sector find that harassment,
eventually end a frustrating deadlock, when DEECD Our current Members of State Parliament Staff bullying and work pressure are taking a significant
continues to hold out on giving information to the (MOSPS) Agreement expires on 30 June 2008 and toll on education workers, with 19% of all claims
Union about the current training and incumbent status negotiations for a new replacement Agreement citing work-related stress, anxiety or depression.
of their OHS reps. commence. Meetings across Gippsland regarding DHS’s proposal
As ever, there is plenty of work to be done in protecting DIIRD releases its Departmental Organisational to centralise regional payroll services occur while our
the interests of union members at VWA and this year Strategy with a proposal which includes a members in the metropolitan areas who are already
we have a big job ahead of us with the CA due to comprehensive organisational chart that is colour- consultation affecting all our DEECD Allied Health operating under similar payroll structures flood the union
finish on 30 November 2008 and it is time to prepare coded to indicate all the proposed changes. members having been told that in term 2 their school with issues and concerns but despite these outstanding
the next. Notification of a review of the administrative and allocations will change, and that a ‘restructure’ of matters the Department is seeking to introduce
The Parks Victoria EBA bargaining unit are meeting legal research support services provided to VCAT their work is going to take place without any centralised processes for regional employees.
weekly in an attempt to progress negotiations with members is received. consultation. The number of restructures and other changes that
members pursuing an agreement that will provide Notification from SRO about a proposal involving A proposal to restructure Future Farming Systems have been notified to CPSU continues to grow with at
entitlements and a career structure that are changes within the Operations Division at their Research from 5 science platforms into 2 science present at least 6 restructures or other changes
comparable to our colleagues throughout the Ballarat site is received. platforms, and converge 14 sub platforms into 6 sub underway in WorkCover
Victorian Public Sector while securing pay and CPSU outlines our concerns and issues with VicPol’s platforms, and centralize the business management The Chief Commissioner issues a message to all
conditions and resources into the future, however intention to develop the Improper Association policy. functions in DPI is received. Victoria Police employees outlining the rework of
several disagreements remain between the unions Notification from DHS about the work being Our current TAC/VTF Agreement expires in July and the Improper Association policy following
and PV management over these issues. undertaken by the DCS team in reviewing the negotiations for a new replacement Agreement representations from CPSU and the Police Association
Rosters, Medications, Public Health Working Group effectiveness and long term viability of the current commence. including Australian Industrial Relations Commission
(Condoms), Recreation Officers classification, the regional organisational structure is received. Notification from DHS about an initial proposal to sponsored discussions.
Incident at MAP (Health Reporting) and Officers DEECD representatives provide their negotiating make some changes to the structure of the Children Nominations open for our Prison local groups with
Uniforms are all issues our Prisons Division State- position including; a desire to move to a common Youth and Families (CYF) Division at 50 Lonsdale each site’s to elect their local executive and local when employees commenced work later than the the 5 months of the building project occurs
wide Reps begin to tackle for the year. SSO progression date, as well as a desire to alter the Street is received. committees. rostered time to comply with the ten hour break but CPSU celebrates the contribution of our Indigenous
classification structure to enable SSO1’s greater The Australian Electoral Commission declares the The water industry becomes a major priority for the where not paid for the whole shift as required by our members throughout Victoria during this years
progression opportunities. election of CPSU Branch Officials and Delegates to nation’s future as CPSU seeks to ensure that we are Victorian Public Service EBA. Reconciliation Week and encourages all members,
In response to our dispute being listed before the Branch Council returning Karen Batt as Secretary able to meet any national policy issues and the Spatial analysis and research remains whole thanks Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, to participate in
Commission over VicPol intention to make all and her team for a record fifth term. Karen was first consequential industrial issues that may arise. to members in SAR, Housing, Building and Climate the process of Reconciliation.
employees, upon commencement, complete either a elected in 1993 and becomes the 3 rd longest serving DSE advises that the proposal to make progression Change, and BPHPF who resist DPCDs recent Our claims log is endorsed by members for the next
“No Associations to Declare Form” or an “Association Secretary in the union’s 123 year history. conditional on being assessed as having ‘exceeded workplace changes. TAC Agreement while the Branch Council meeting
Assessment Report” as required under the Instruction, APRIL: requirements’ has been dropped. Changes to existing work practices at COINVEST in takes the opportunity to celebrate the contribution of
the union is advised that VicPol have engaged legal CPSU representatives raise a number of concerns at CPSU is advised by HACSU (Health and Community Membership Services that occurred without a number of outgoing members including Alan
firm Minter Ellison to argue against a dispute the monthly Workplace Partnership Committee Services Union) that state-wide industrial action has consultation are reviewed following representation Woodroffe who has represented the interests of
settlement role for the Commission making the offer meetings, and through regular correspondence to commenced in relation to disability enterprise from members. members for an amazing 16 years.
of a meeting in ESDs response letter rather hollow. the Department about the lack of detail being bargaining negotiations with the State Government. CPSU is represented by Indigenous Branch Section CPSU advises DPI member to request a workload review
A new rent model is the focus of a series of meetings provided regarding the proposed DIIRD Secretary Judy Thorne, and Convenor Stephen Walsh after the Department proposes remote supervision.
between CPSU and a Housing working party of our organisational structure. MAY: at the ACTU Indigenous Conference held in Adelaide.
A proposal to provide payslips only to employees in
A proposal to review the Marketing and
Communications Unit of VCAT for the Arts Centre’s
Branch Section delegates who have met regularly Advice that DSE’s Gippsland Region proposes to Following lengthy negotiations, the draft proposed
with the Director of Housing Richard Deyell and his implement changes to the region creating the Biodiversity DHS without access to computers or those on long future requirements is received.
Parks Victoria Enterprise Bargaining Agreement is leave is received. Changes to the hours of operation at the Victim
team to identify processes which could deliver reduced and Environmental planning business is received. endorsed.
workloads. Union representatives are invited to join the Federal A restructure within Marketing and Communication Support Agency helpline is proposed with two part-
CPSU and DoJ/CV reach agreed terms of reference at DPI is proposed with four positions to be cut and time Helpline Officers to be rostered for this additional
The implementation date for completing a VicPol Government’s 2020 ideas summit to talk about the for the risk assessment of the requirements that have
Improper Association notification is shifted back a many challenges going into the future, like restoring a new team created called Advertising, Design and period and additional fixed term part-time staff to be
been recommended by Justice Bongiorno in relation Publishing. recruited to cover the increased hours.
month to the end of May with the Commission rights at work; removing barriers on entering and to the security escorts being undertaken for the
postponing commencement to enable the parties to staying in the workforce; better family friendly work A proposal to restructure Future Farming Systems A meeting is held between CPSU and GMW
“alleged’ terrorists’ trial. Research in DPI is received. management about a number of issues that have
move immediately into intensive negotiations about provisions; and the need for government and HSR’s are a real asset to DHS our survey finds, with
the Direction with the view to reaching agreement. employers to invest in skills. A proposal to restructure DSE Regional Management, been raised by members in relation to the operation
results showing a genuine interest in safety and care so that the regions will no longer be run by Regional and interaction of GMW, NVIRP, Future Flow, and
A new Agreement between members & The Royal A meeting is convened to discuss the proposal featured about their colleagues exists regardless of the many
Botanic Gardens is voted on and signed off by all in the media to turn WORZ into a Village Roadshow Directors and reporting lines will change so that the Modernisation.
challenges members face while performing their role. various service delivery areas will ultimately report A proposal this time to review the Education, Families
parties and awaits final approval from the Workplace Amusement Park as CPSU members develop a DHS rectify the shift underpayments to after hours
Authority. strategy to deal with this issue and how this proposal through a CBD based manager is received. and Young Audiences Unit at VCAT is received.
CPSU is successful in obtaining funding from WorkSafe child protection members following our A briefing with DoJ on BDRP refit for Charlotte at Port
Allocations changes in SMR networks occur without will affect jobs.
Victoria to build the capability of Health & Safety representations when these underpayments arose Phillip Prison and the reconfigurations to follow for JUNE:
Representatives in the Department of Human Services A review of the dimensions of work becomes a key
(DHS) and an Organiser is appointed as the Health and debate in SSO Agreement negotiations as the current
Safety Representative Support Officer (HSR SO). Award dimensions consign many SSOs to the SSO1
There are some disturbing statistics emerge out of the classification without hope of promotion.
survey which had a high response from State Library CPSU calls for our public sector professional fire-
staff about ‘bullying’ which was conducted in response fighters to be practise caution and awareness of
to a high level of concern from members about the working alone policies and practices following a
issue. serious workplace accident involving a worker
Negotiations for a new Ministerial Staff Collective undertaking duties alone and being injured and
Agreement conclude and members have the stranded in the field for several hours.
opportunity to vote on the proposed Agreement which DEECD’s Office of Government and School
will deliver pay rises for the next four years. Education proposes a restructure with the proposed
DSE propose to regroup their internal performance changes to impact on the responsibilities of two
plans rating system however members are concerned divisions – Student Learning Programs and Student
that the proposed change might affect their ability to Wellbeing and Support.
receive a progression payment and this would then A proposal to realign certain Financial Audit tasks
breach the Exceptional Matters Order from the AIRC into the Performance Audit Unit at VAGO is received.
that established the progression arrangements in our A proposal to change the existing performance
VPSA 2006. management work practices with all DPCD
employees to move from either the ExCEL@DPCD or
MARCH: PMPSePP system to a common on-line system for
SSO Agreement negotiations are finally off and performance management is received.
running with DEECD finally receiving approval from A proposed change to the uniform policy and
the State Government to commence negotiations allocation at Parks Victoria is received which relate
despite CPSU having submitted our list of claims last to numerous uniform issues including the type and
year, but CPSU makes it clear that SSOs should not quality of sunglasses, quality and standard of uniform,
be disadvantaged by government delays! and many more concerns.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, Elections at MAP, Marngoneet and MRC are
a global study of sixty-three nations has revealed concluded and additional details are provided for
women across all industries and age groups are being Courts, DPFC and Tarrengower reps following local
paid on average 16% less than men. site elections for the Prison’s Division.
2 Year in Review – December 2008 Year in Review – December 2008 3
pass this cost onto staff that use the car park.
Changes to SSSO networks involving moving from
an 11 network model to 8 within the Northern
Metropolitan Region that commenced at the
beginning of the 2008 school year involve changes
to a minority of SSSOs.
A proposal to implement change within the Strategic
Management Division of DTF to incorporate the Chief
Information Officer function is received.
In preparation for our VPSA’09 negotiations that will
commence later this year CPSU conducts formal
employee relations training for members and
delegates and workplace contacts across Gippsland.
A government building is gutted by fire in Colac as
CPSU’s Regional Organiser visits to speak to members
from all affected agencies about the fire and the
issues arising in this workplace—
The tide has turned Collective bargaining
This is the time of year when SSOs have an opportunity
to negotiate the sort of consultation with their leadership
group that suits the conditions at their school as Principals
must tick a box in a DEECD questionnaire saying whether
or not they have agreed on procedures to consult with
SSOs for the next 12 months.
rights - an historic
As a result of discussions with CPSU, EPA management
agree to modify the consultation process around the
proposed organisational restructure. After years of going backwards on achievement
CPSU writes to VicPol’s PEP unit about changes to
the performance appraisal system currently in place workers’ rights, the tide has now turned.
with our two biggest areas of concern being the The new Collective Bargaining Laws introduced
capacity to assess behavior and/or attitude, and the by the Federal Government will, when they are
‘commentary option”. A year since last year’s election, the Rudd Government has
passed by Parliament, represent one of the most
AUGUST: released its proposed new industrial relations laws.
A meeting to discuss the organisational redesign that
has been flagged at EPA by management is called.
JULY: Since there was no consultation on the pre-populated
momentous overhauls of industrial relations in
A proposal to restructure its Corporate Services by A proposal to restructure the positions of General performance goals for Sheriffs, and pending further
They are a major step forward for the right of workers to this country for 100 years.
Ombudsman Victoria is r eceived. Managers, Location Managers, Staff Development discussions, CPSU advises members not to progress their collectively bargain and be represented by unions.
A proposed code of conduct for Electorate Officers Managers and Business Service Managers within performance plans until such time that this matter is • For the first time in history, employers will be
elicits many emails from members, while CPSU Community Correctional Services is received. resolved through consultation. CPSU’s position is that it Once the proposed laws are passed they will change the
The recently released parliamentary report into required to respect workers’ rights to collectively
contacts the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to is inappropriate to apply performance/ business targets
express our concern about the lack of consultation bushfires and public land management identifies landscape of our workplaces and begin to restore decent bargain and be represented by their union. They
on the Code, the absence of any rationale for its and addresses many of the recommendations raised rights for Australian workers.
need, and the short time-frame proposed for its in CPSU’s submission to the enquiry. will also be required to negotiate in good faith.
Builders march into Ballarat CCS and began the
‘refurbishment’ despite the lack of a contingency plan
However it would be incorrect to say that unions are • Collective bargaining was systematically
With the spotlight this month on Integration Aides
CPSU believes SSOs deserve the same deal teachers for securing the building, client, and staff records, as satisfied with everything the Labor Government is proposing. undermined by the Howard Government, which
receive on leasing laptops; that is leasing for less staff were expected to just turn up on Monday and
than $5 per fortnight after DEECD claims that laptops work in a bomb site that was hazardous and There is unfinished business, and we know there is much for 10 years reduced workers’ ability to gain
completely unsafe to both clients and staff. decent wages and conditions.
are not a tool of trade for SSOs.
CPSU conducts formal employee relations training more work to do.
There is never been a better time to put your hand up
if you want to become a Health and Safety for members and delegates employed at Fulham • When the Labor Government’s new system is
Representative (HSR) or a Deputy HSR with the third Correctional Centre in preparation for our EBA Let us assure you that the ACTU and all of the unions are
anniversary of the Victorian OHS Act being celebrated negotiations later this year. determined to continue campaigning for the best possible passed by Parliament in 2009, collective
The transition of DEECD from co-locations in EMR
this month, which established a three year term for
has been delayed as the Department struggles with deal for all Australian workers. bargaining will drive better wages and conditions
elected HSR’s and Deputy HSR’s.
A new Prison at Ararat as a 40 residential facility for the task they have been given as CPSU is told that for workers and deliver higher productivity for our
serious sex offenders, 8 bed unit for detainees and 52 transition will not be completed until January 2009. In the coming months, we will have a job on our hands to
Following exhaustive negotiations and government get the new workplace system passed by the Senate. economy.
quick build beds for Dhurringile are disclosed as
part of consultation with CV. approval processes PV employees commence voting
on our new EBA. • Unions were concerned that collective
A decision to audit staff for fingerprint checks in VicPol And there are other important issues we will still campaign
initially causes confusion when understanding that In preparing for EBA negotiations CPSU Secretary bargaining would be meaningless unless it was
the policy was introduced post 1996 but members Karen Batt commences a series of information for, including the rights of construction workers.
confirm that the policy did not apply retrospectively sessions across the state about VPSA’09 and the to levels below Grade 4 and that at all levels, goals must enforceable, and we are pleased the Government
and employment with Victoria Police prior to 1996 impact of federal Work Choices laws – how our be agreed between the employer and the employee. We need your help to do this, so please stay active in the has largely accepted this argument. In certain
was advertised with the provision that prospective existing conditions were won – our core conditions of ALL our Schools across Victoria this week are Your Rights at Work campaign.
employees ‘maybe subject to a security check which employment – agency specific provisions, what other celebrating the contribution and achievements made circumstances the independent industrial umpire
may include fingerprinting’ etc . unions achieved, and how we can all work together to their communities by School Services Officers will have the power to settle disputes and
CPSU receives the new Transport Department’s for the best result for ALL. with SSO National Recognition Week under the
proposed organisational structure. Car parking at RBG Melbourne is now subject to banner of SSOs - ‘WORTH OUR WEIGHT IN GOLD’. workers will also be able to access courts in
Fringe Benefits Tax, as management decide to 2008 marks the 8th National Recognition Week for some cases.
SSOs sponsored by CPSU.
Reduced funding and regional job losses with 70 • In a major step forward for low paid workers the
redundancies proposed across the state by the
Department of Primary Industries who only just new umpire, Fair Work Australia, will have the
inform CPSU of a proposal to restructure DPI’s power to arbitrate to assist employees in low paid
workforce and facilities after the union discovers that
DPI has also informed the media and regional papers industries to collectively bargain for higher wages
will carry the news. Not surprisingly a media strategy
is more important to DPI than securing the jobs of
and improved conditions.
staff and the regional towns they support.
Consistent with a commitment made during the Combine this with a new safety net of awards and
negotiations over the RBG Agreement 2008, minimum standards, an open and transparent
management undertake to “…develop a system and
appropriate payment for Designated On-call Officers…” process for the setting of minimum wages, and
CPSU writes to ZOO CEO John Wills requesting ACTU Secretary ACTU President the new system will provide workers and their
consideration for payment of the 1% performance Jeff Lawrence Sharan Burrow
related element as part of the general increase unions a very good foundation on which to build
prescribed for 16 July 2008 by the Zoos Victoria and advocate for the interests of working
Salaried Officers Agreement.
CPSU is advised by Corrections Victoria of a Australians.
proposed change to the structure of the Sex Offender
Programme, where currently, clinical staff are divided 1300 4 UNION (1300 486 466)
4 Year in Review – December 2008
Our campaign goals
Here is a summary of our six key goals and what we have achieved so far: UNFINISHED BUSINESS
While this legislation is • The ability of workers to access arbitration or the
a big step forward, courts in respect of the application of the safety net and
there are still gaps and collective agreements may pose practical problems.
including: • We must be vigilant to ensure that no workers are
• We will need to disadvantaged by the proposed modern awards and that
campaign further to the rights of contractors are protected.
help workers access • The discriminatory laws for workers in the
collective bargaining construction industry simply have to go. The ABCC is an
and make AWAs affront to our values and must not be replaced by a new
disappear entirely from entity with a different name but the same oppressive
the workplace landscape in the years ahead. powers.
• Restrictions on the content of collective agreements • There may also be further push back from employer
are unnecessary and the docking of minimum four hours groups or the Coalition in the Senate which will need to
pay for taking unprotected action is absurd. be addressed.
1. No AWA individual contracts 3. Collective bargaining rights enter workplaces to hold discussions with members or potential members and
to check workers are not being ripped off will no longer be displaced by non-
AWAs were the centrepiece of Howard’s WorkChoices. They were used to Collective bargaining will be the centrepiece of the new IR system. union agreements.
Bargaining will be required to be conducted “in good faith” meaning that
break down collective strength in the workplace, and to drive down wages
employers must be fair dinkum about trying to get a result.
and conditions. They were an anathema to the spirit of a fair go.
5. Protection from
A majority of workers will be able to insist on bargaining for a union
The Rudd Government banned the making of new AWAs in March this
collective agreement and your union will also have a guaranteed right to unfair dismissal
year. While it is disappointing workers can remain on these contracts, the
represent you — both things which were denied under WorkChoices. The All workers will once again have protection from unfair dismissal (if you work in
proposed legislation will allow workers on expired AWAs to access
agreement must be genuinely reached and it must leave workers better a small business, you will have to be employed for a year before these apply).
collective bargaining. Other AWAs will also have to comply with the new • Tell your Senator how important your
off overall. In addition the umpire will be able to step in to settle an This will include high earners covered by awards.
National Employment Standards. Common law contracts will have to be rights at work are. Make a submission to
agreement after all other efforts have been made and there is harmful
above the award. The exemption from unfair dismissal when sackings occur for “operational the Senate Inquiry into Labor’s proposed
industrial action. The umpire will also be able to intervene when there
have been serious and persistent breaches of good faith bargaining
reasons” will be removed. new laws.
2. A strong safety net requirements, as we have seen in cases like Telstra and Cochlear. This is major improvement on WorkChoices which slashed unfair dismissal
rights and left many young and vulnerable workers with no protections at all.
• Get involved in union campaigns for
The safety net of awards and National Employment Standards will be Importantly, there will also be new, effective ways for groups of workers construction workers’ rights, paid
like cleaners, childcare workers, hospital workers and community workers maternity leave and national health and
expanded far beyond the minimum five basic conditions under
WorkChoices. Under the new legislation, entitlements such as maximum to get assistance to bargain collectively in ways not previously possible. 6. An independent umpire safety laws.
weekly hours of work, overtime pay, penalty rates, public holidays, The role of the independent umpire is vital to making sure the system works • Make sure employers who exploit
redundancy, annual leave and rest breaks will be protected. Employers
will not be able to strip them away.
4. Right to union membership properly. It needs to be easy to use, affordable, timely and have the tool kit to
do the job properly.
workers are kept in check and be active
and representation in your unions. Contact the Union Hotline
New, modern awards are also being created that will safeguard minimum WorkChoices rendered the industrial umpire powerless, but we expect the new on 1300 4 UNION (1300 486 466).
One of the basic tenets of democracy is the choice to belong to a union.
wages, types of employment, superannuation, and procedures for laws to have an umpire with the powers to get the job done. Fair Work Australia
WorkChoices encouraged a pattern of intimidation by threats of dismissal,
will be able to conciliate, mediate, call compulsory conferences and make • View the ACTU Turn the Tide video
dispute settlement. WorkChoices left awards to waste away but under the
new laws they will be reviewed every four years.
pressure, discrimination and victimisation that eroded this basic right. recommendations. message or sign up to email updates –
The right to be in a union will be enshrined in the new legislation and Join nearly 200,000 supporters on the
Unions will also again be able to run “test cases” which were banned there will be greater protections for delegates during bargaining. One of Fair Work Australia’s main roles will be to assist with bargaining,
including supervising industrial action, and facilitating bargaining for low paid
Rights at Work website
under WorkChoices. Test cases have in the past delivered such important
It will be unlawful to take action against someone simply because they workers. And the umpire will have real teeth, with new grounds for arbitration
conditions as carers leave, maternity leave and the 38 hour week.
exercise a workplace right, or to discriminate against someone because for the low paid when bargaining fails.
Minimum wage workers can now look forward to a much fairer system of they are a union member.
setting their pay under Labor’s new laws. Under WorkChoices, the wages The courts will also be given a new role in overseeing the application of awards
In addition, there will be a guaranteed right of union representation in and the National Employment Standards. This will provide a strong deterrent
of more than one million award-reliant workers declined in real terms. those situations where you need your union involved, including in against the infringement of workers’ rights and entitlements, with employers
consultation and dispute settlement processes. The ability of unions to facing court-imposed orders, injunctions, and penalties.
Paid maternity leave is a long overdue economic and financial stress or worrying about losing their job.
social reform that unions are campaigning to have Employers would also benefit by reducing re-hiring and
introduced as a national scheme next year. training costs.
The 18 week scheme recommended by the Productivity Despite the global financial crisis, the ACTU and unions
Commission to cover all working women is broadly believe the scheme should be included in the Rudd
supported by the ACTU and would provide a good base Government’s 2009 federal budget.
for unions to build on in coming years.
For more campaign info and to read the ACTU’s PML
It would allow women to be with their babies without submission go to www.actu.asn.au/pml
Every year many thousands of Australians get sick, are For example, the recommended maximum five year jail
injured or die because of their work. terms for people who cause a workplace death, is higher
There are currently nine different workplace health and than that applying in most states but a drop in standards
safety laws operating in Australia. Unions agree the for the ACT where there is a 7 year maximum.
system requires reform but it must deliver the highest Other proposals to increase the maximum fines for
standards for harmonized health and safety laws. companies and directors who cause death or injury to
workers are positive, but may not be enough to deter into two teams defined by the type of offender for seeking action as the Department has been without timely responses, consultation on the original
A recent review by a Government panel has just released whom they are responsible. undergoing organisational change for a considerable proposal then a refusal to consult on the “revised
the first of two reports containing 75 recommendations bad employers. Five meetings are cancelled by Parliamentary length of time, and there is still no clear indication of after consultation” proposal and no consultation on
Services and the parties are still waiting to which vacant positions are to be filled, and what some “policy” changes which may have a big impact
for new OHS laws. While many of the recommendations For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or commence MOSPS bargaining due to the failure positions are regarded as ‘core’ for the purpose of on members so at CPSU’s request the parties are
will improve the system, others don’t go far enough. 03 9664 7350 of the State Government to give the Employer replacing staff who resign/retire. having another meeting with Commissioner Smith,
the go ahead even though our Agreement Fingerprinting becomes a mandatory requirement scheduled for mid September.
expired on 30th June 2008. for employment at VicPol. CPSU believes that DEECD have sent costings for the
Progress is being made on a number of key issues A proposal to amalgamate shared services across the public SSO Agreement to Cabinet to be approved, so a pay
in bargaining for our new SSO Agreement but sector into a new entity known as ‘CenITex’ is announced. offer can finally be made.
CPSU is still unable to provide specifics Despite all the agreements to work together that were Visits to all public prison sites are conducted to present
unfortunately on the negotiations as there is no reached at last year’s series of meetings with a talk containing background information about our
firm government offer on the table. Commissioner Smith from the Australian Industrial upcoming EBA negotiations as well as what’s
Lack of adequate resources with a high number Relations Commission there’s been little improvement happening with Award Modernisation and its impact
of families with children at risk compound the at WorkCover with issues dragging on for months on Correctional Officers in our hybrid system
ONE LAW FOR ALL difficult issues Child Protection staff are
experiencing in the Southern region with
members indicating they work unreasonable
hours of overtime which is not always paid as
they form a delegation to present data collected
to senior management.
AMES finally receives the OK from the Workplace
The campaign to abolish the construction industry found the ABCC discriminates against construction Authority on our new Agreement which means that
watchdog – the Australian Building and Construction workers and infringes their rights. “These rules treat members will receive pay rises in your pay tomorrow
backdated to 5th February 2008.
Commission (ABCC) is continuing to highlight the building workers more harshly than people in other Following a review of safety, security and risk
unfairness of the Howard Government’s laws that industries,” the review said. management at the Magistrates Court of
Victoria and the Victorian Administrative Tribunal
remain. Labor changed its policy to abolish the ABCC prior to (VCAT), new safety measures are to be
The ABCC has draconian powers that include the ability winning the 1997 election, and now the Government says introduced for the protection of staff at suburban
to summons any person to give evidence. It is an the ABCC will remain until 2010. Unions say this is not A campaign to protect injured workers is launched as the
offence, punishable by up to six month’s jail to refuse to good enough — construction workers deserve to be Accident Compensation Act review conducted by Peter
Hanks QC is expected to provide the Minister for
even give evidence. treated the same as other workers. WorkCover Tim Holding with his recommendations which
if accepted will significantly disadvantage injured workers
But now an independent review by Murray Wilcox QC has For more information, visit www.rightsonsite.org.au including CPSU members who get injured at work.
The Federal Government initiates a process to review
OHS laws across Australia and CPSU believes that
the Federal Government‘s review must deliver the
highest standard of protection for workers as the
ACTU, VTHC and CPSU provide submissions as part
of the process and an online petition for members to
sign and express support is launched.
CPSU writes to Howard Ronaldson, DIIRD Secretary
1300 4 UNION (1300 486 466)
Printed and authorised by Jeff Lawrence, Level 6, 365 Queen St Melbourne VIC 3000 Year in Review – December 2008
from Child Protection HSR’s representing offices in
Cheltenham, Dandenong, Frankston and Footscray
from the lack of adequate resources and high number
of families with children at risk and PINs are issued
PV claim that the initiatives they agreed to in our new
Agreement are now too expensive, so they will
therefore not be backfilling vacated positions.
The current dispute between CPSU members and
VicPol regarding the new performance system goes
before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
School holiday fun is provided via Gippsland Trades
and Labour Council and all its affiliated unions
through sponsorship of a Family Race Day hosted by
Moe Racing Club.
A proposal to introduce compulsory fitness and/or
medical testing for all staff who perform a fire/
emergency role in DSE in time for the 2008/09 fire
season is received despite our Victorian Public Service
Agreement 2006, stating that fitness and medical
testing are voluntary, and those who participate are
entitled to a higher stand-by allowance in another
agency try on prior to negotiations commencing in
The State Government finally releases the Hanks
report into Victoria’s Accident Compensation
system and the timing of its release on Grand Final
eve isn’t the only embarrassment for Labor as the
report contains many regressive recommendations
that will make life harder for injured workers.
ACFE approach CPSU with the intention of
establishing a JCC to provide a regular forum for
CPSU organisers, members and ACFE/DPCD
management to discuss issues of concern and ways
of proactively developing ACFE.
DOT proposes to temporarily relocate three VTD
teams to relieve the workspace shortages and desk
sharing issues at Blackwood Street.
either relocated to Queenscliff or redeployed within
SEPTEMBER: CPSU requests further information concerning the
OCTOBER: the public service having an undeniably detrimental
impact upon members and their families who would
proposed position descriptions of all members affected A proposal to restructure the Community Programs – be uprooted from their local community.
DOJ formally writes to advise CPSU of their worst kept by the DPI spill-and-fill with union officials meeting Housing Team in DHS is received.
secret which is a proposed move to implement a The last salary increase arising from our VPSA’06
with DPI Secretary Richard Bolt to state that changes to Notification of the impending closure of AMES is due and delivers hundreds of extra dollars for ALL
Departmental regionalisation model that will impact position descriptions constitute a likely effect upon Auburn site is received.
on staff severely and attempt to use the ‘Implementation VPS employees and is in addition to progression
employee working conditions and responsibilities; they A special briefing is held in the Storey Hall Auditorium payments under the VPS Career Structure.
of Change’ provision in our Victorian Public Service at RMIT of all union workplace and health and safety
are indeed part of the consultative process. Proposed staff cuts at La Trobe University arise when
Agreement to push ahead with major structural change CPSU commences the VPSA’09 preparation for the new reps about the current review of the Accident
to avoid negotiating productivities / compensation as the University Executive decide that it needs to cut
bargaining round by engaging members across Victoria Compensation laws and the regressive costs to remain functional and it wants to do that, if
identified in the Government’s PS wages policy with our
EBA (VPSA06) only 6 months from expiry. possible, without forced redundancies.
A proposed change to the organisational structure Notification from DHS Child Protection to advise
within the Funding Health and Information Policy they want to implement a new position which is that
Branch of DHS is received. of a NW Region Principal Practitioner is received.
A major component in preparing to re-negotiate our Through the recommendations of Commissioner
future pay and conditions will be the fire and Smith, DPI and CPSU agree to a vacancy
emergency provisions detailed in appendix 8 and 9 management process (including a “matching”
of our current Victorian Public Service Agreement process) and a grievance process as well as paid time
2006. These provisions affect all members in DSE release of up to two days for those members
and DPI as well as members employed in Parks contributing to the restructure alternative proposal.
Victoria and VicForests. CPSU receives notification from the Director of Public
Upcoming VLA Enterprise Bargaining Agreement Health Branch of a proposal to reorganize DHS work
negotiations see members complete our claim ideas units including a restructure of the Communicable
worksheet to have a say about their pay. Disease Prevention and Control Unit and the Office
of the Director.
After many months of intense negotiations, CPSU inconsistent performance management, as well as
and the other unions have just reached an in-principle out of date position descriptions is raised with the
agreement with DEECD on the pay and conditions to Plumbing Industry Commission.
apply to Education Support staff until April 2012. Not satisfied with proposing a real wage cut in their
CPSU is advised by DEECD that Victorian KODE pay offer, VWA management is also seeking to have
schools will be closing and seeks an urgent meeting any increase, and any other improved conditions,
with senior management to find out what is actually paid for by trade-offs in any new Agreement. Suffice
proposed. to say a wide gap exists between our claims and
VicHealth members are urged to vote yes for their WorkCover’s offer.
new proposed Agreement which will vary and extend CPSU writes to Premier John Brumby with an outline of
to ascertain the scope of the items and issues they believe recommendations that will make life harder for injured the current Agreement and nominally expire in June the claims and issues union members seek to negotiate
need to be addressed about pay and entitlements. workers if adopted by the State Government. 2009 into our next Victorian Public Service Agreement
The consultation process for the changes to the structure CPSU lodges a dispute in the Australian Industrial The proposed move to Docklands, the problem of due in early 2009. CPSU will now be conducting
of SSSOs in schools from Strengthening Student Support Relations Commission over the recently announced preliminary meetings with Workforce Victoria, the State
is to be lengthy to give all SSSOs the opportunity to DPI restructure after an attempt to push through Government’s lead organisation for the bargaining.
feedback their thoughts on DEECD’s proposal. change is exposed as DPI claims that CPSU had in A Prisons’ Division Training Conference is held for
Departmental Secretary Richard Bolt refused to fact agreed to implement change in several affected Local Group representatives from every Prison in
guarantee no job losses as a result of his restructure sites and projects. Victoria both public and private and is addressed by
which, as CPSU has already told DPI, is in Advice of a further proposed changes to the hours of the Hon Bob Cameron MP State Minister for
contradiction with the Premier’s recent assurances to operation of the VSA Helpline is received with a Corrections and Jan Shuard A/Commissioner for
CPSU and the community that Labor’s election savings proposal that hours be extended from 8 am to 11 Corrections.
policy will not result in any public sector job cuts. pm., Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays In line with advice received from the Police Association
A proposed restructure to the FL&M Division within and this will be an extra seven hours per day and two and pending the outcome of the ombudsman’s
DOT, sees members submit lengthy feedback to the part-time and/or casual staff will be rostered for the enquiry into their complaint, CPSU informs VicPol
Department with most suggestions being extra period. members that while we regard the Instruction as
incorporated. Snob’s Creek members hold a very successful unreasonable, it is a mandatory requirement and
DHS Management refuse to offer any reasonable community meeting about the recent announcement therefore they should comply with the Instruction.
alternative remedy to address the OHS issues raised to restructure DPI’s facilities which would see 11 staff The State Government lodges writs in the Federal Court
6 Year in Review – December 2008 Year in Review – December 2008 7
seeking unspecified damages for illegal industrial action
against 35 of our expert forensic scientists who are
4. Family Friendly
employed by VicPol at the State Forensic Science Centre When Allan Rampal moved his young family to
in Macleod after pursuing health and safety remedies to Apollo Bay in the early 1980s to take up a post
ongoing bullying and harassment. with Parks Victoria he couldn’t believe his luck.
DPI agrees with the Expression of Interest Process for “I’m living smack between a stunning coast
Spill-and-Fill procedures circulated by CPSU to
members and confirmed following last Friday’s
and some of the most magnificent forests in the
conference in the Australian Industrial Relations land.”
Commission. Nearly 30 years on he’s still relishing the
The Essential Services Commission undertakes a charms of being connected to the rural township
review of the administrative and personal assistant needs with spectacular bushland at his doorstep.
of the Commission and recommends a reduction in the “It’s a combination of the landscape, the
numbers of FTE staff, changes to administrative support
roles and other changes to processes. community and the greater circle of people
CPSU is working on a new classification structure in within PV that I am exposed to,” he says.
the next 2 months that will incorporate the 1% “I am lucky enough to be able to work from
performance pay in a new incremental salary structure a location that has now become home and
for AMES employees which is derived from the non- provides peace and tranquillity compared to
executive career structure for the Victorian Public the pressures of a large urban city.”
Service and will be comprised of six separate grade
levels. Although Allan’s job at Parks Victoria has
changed over the years, starting as first ranger
in charge of the Otway National Park to now
working as regional coordinator for the Natural
Values program, he and wife Faye feel
privileged to have raised their three children
among a tight knit community with vast
opportunity for family adventure a stone’s throw
“We often camp at Blanket Bay, which is only
45 minutes from our doorstep – no traffic jams Allan Rampal, - West Region “no traffic jams or Westgate vehicle”
or Westgate vehicle breakdowns here!
If we want to go for a day walk or longer the
NOVEMBER: Great Ocean Walk is at our doorstep, and
Off and Racing for all Museum staff this Cup Week when the weather is warmer a swim after work
as meetings are held to develop our claims in is a five minute walk away.
preparation to bargain for our new Union Collective It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Agreement (the SPA or EBA). And as Allan approaches the twilight of his
CPSU meets with Departmental representatives from career, CPSU’s new EBA brings welcome
CV/ DoJ to commence the consultation process
involved in the review of the current Corrections rewards.
Regulations after CV advise of the need to review “The benefits are those that will allow me
the regulations from the sunset provisions and from better to plan for retirement,” he says.
the application of the regulations to take into account “In particular the salary sacrifice and
both the Human Rights Charter and some emerging improved leave arrangements coupled with
issues in the prisons, such as smoking, computer use
increases in salary range.”
Advice is received about a proposal to integrate the While Allan has spent his working life
Corporate Services, Desktop Support and Web managing some of the country’s most beautiful
Communications for Mental Health and Drugs, natural environment, he’s pleased to see the
Metropolitan Health and Aged Care Services, and new EBA is looking after another prized
Rural and Regional Health and Aged Care Services commodity.
at DHS 50 Lonsdale Street.
Negotiations at Fulham for their EBA commence “In general it seems the EBA is a lot more
as CPSU seeks the right to represent our orientated towards staff and their welfare, a
members at GSL Transport for their EBA as good outcome considering people are the most
Management are denying us right of entry. precious resource that PV manages,” he says.
Victorian Unions host our annual race day at
Cranbourne to complete a tough year and this year Right: “the Great Ocean Walk is at our
it’s combined with a Xmas party for families with doorstep”
amusement rides for the kids.
DEECD puts our Agreement to a vote at schools which
is welcome news to SSOs who have been awaiting the 5. Island Getaway
first instalment of their much anticipated pay rises.
Our Parliamentary Officers Agreement is due to When Leo op den Brouw was looking for a
expire early next year and a meeting is held to consider change of pace from his self-employed job as
our log of claims with the Government offering to a plumber, the opportunity to work as a
retain the nexus between the pay and classification Lighthouse Caretaker on secluded Gabo Island
outcomes of Public Servants and Parliament staff. provided just the answer.
“It is truly a unique job with a unique set of
VITAL STATS: challenges and rewards,” says Leo, who shares
CPSU has 70 EBA’s, 15,000 members and the job with Bob Fisher in a month on month off
4,400 worksites across Victoria and NSW. rotation.
1,398 new members recruited this year up “I love the open spaces, the incessant
from 1,234 new members last year. movement of the ocean, the distance from the
A net growth of 4,579 members (representing
a 57% increase) since 1 January 2000. world’s conflicts and worries, the challenges
8 Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and responsibility of dealing with problems
negotiated for members this year. (12 in 2007). thrown at me and relying on my own ability and
609 applications for representation from initiative to resolve them.”
members were received this year. (503 in 2007) Leo’s job requires many hats, from that of
297 implementation of change advice letters weather observer, island watchdog,
received from agencies this year. (294 in 2007)
Operating surplus for the 07/08 financial maintenance operator, to tour guide and
year of $148,188 (30 June 2007: surplus of entertainer of island guests.
$464,976). Leo op den Brouw, Gabo Island Light Station Caretaker – “It is truly a unique job with a
unique set of challenges and rewards,” Continued Page 6
8 Year in Review – December 2008 December 2008
5. Island Getaway (Continued)
Yet, it’s his responsibility in caring for the
lighthouse, built in 1862 from granite cut on
the island, that Leo takes the greatest pride.
“I gain great satisfaction from the knowledge This is the second year in a row that Sherie
that I am contributing to the preservation of Patterson, a Laboratory Technician, will join
one of Australia’s iconic Marine Heritage other staff and students from Bayside College
structures,” he says. to walk the Kokoda Track.
“Much of what I do is following in the footsteps Having no family history or association with
of dozens of light keepers who have lived on the the Track Sherie’s initial interest came simply
island.” Gabo Island - “Sometimes it seems idyllic and the best place on earth at other times ….” from the physical challenge the Track presented
Although Leo loves the extraordinary plus the opportunity to work closely with students
quirkiness of his job, he admits the reality of life “Living and working on the Island produces from Bayside College to achieve a common
on the island can be testing. many challenges for a range of reasons,” says goal.
Gabo Island, 13 kilometres off the coast of Leo. “Once I read more about Kokoda, I
Mallacoota, juts out into the eastern corner of Bass “Sometimes it seems idyllic and the best place developed an understanding and appreciation
Strait and is exposed to the full force of the weather. on earth and at other times you want to be of the Australians who fought there,” she says.
“I have witnessed some terrific storms and it anywhere else other than stuck out there. Sherie now proudly attends the ANZAC Day
is not uncommon to have difficulty walking But often when you are feeling down in the dawn service with great admiration for the men
around due to the wind strength,” says Leo. dumps you might see something grim on the who fought.
“There are many incidents to relate that are news or witness some weather phenomena or “The chance to meet the last living Fuzzy
due to storms, wind and swells. the wildlife produces a spectacle, and it feels Wuzzy Angel was a unique and humbling
These range from boats in distress, people like a pretty good place to be.” experience.”
stuck on the island and damage to buildings Leo has been on the island for eight years “The Track was a physical, emotional and
and infrastructure.” and says while pursuing hobbies has helped psychological challenge for everyone and
As well as the treacherous weather, the him deal with the isolation; the support of Parks although I was aware of the physical challenge,
monthly rotations are disruptive to life off the Victoria has been the key to him remaining support I get from my supervisor and ranger in I never imagined the emotional and
island, and loneliness is a constant battle as happy in the job for so long. charge,” says Leo. psychological aspects of the trek,” she says.
Leo can commonly go two weeks without seeing “The main reason I continue to enjoy living “Their efforts have been crucial to the “I felt immense pride in the group as we
another person. and working out there is because of the terrific wellbeing of the caretakers.” completed the walk.”
“It was a terrific achievement which
hopefully will drive the students (& myself)
6. An Eye for Beauty Elaine has been in Mt Beauty for just over two We have bought a block of land and are in future pursuits and will be remembered
years, arriving with her partner Mick (also a about to build a house, so Mt Beauty is probably forever.” Sherie visits the single classroom at Nagi School in PNG
After 19 years as a working as a Parks Victoria Parks Victoria ranger), after a 10 year post at the place we will ‘retire’.”
ranger Elaine Thomas is as enthusiastic as ever Wilsons Promontory, and the stunning township While Mt Beauty is where she’s settled, Elaine
Bill shares WorkSafe HSR of
about her role in preserving the state’s beautiful at the foot of Mt Bogong has captured her feels fortunate to have also worked in some of
parkland for future generations. heart. Victoria’s most spectacular parks, including the
With global warming threatening some of “It’s a great location – surrounded by the Mornington Peninsula, the Dandenongs and
our most precious and fragile ecosystems, mountains with views of snow covered peaks,” the Snowy River National Park and is thankful
the Year Award
Elaine, a ranger at Mt Beauty Alpine National says Elaine. for the efforts of Parks Victoria union members
Park, is ready to step up to the challenge in “It’s a very active community – skiing in the in negotiating conditions which make her feel
monitoring and managing the effects of climate winter, hiking or bike riding in summer. like her work is valued.
“Global warming is a real factor in the alps Youth Justice Worker William (Bill)
and it’s going to be interesting to monitor the Thomson works the night shift at the
changes that occur as a result – and working Melbourne Youth Justice Centre and has
with the scientific community as they do this,” worked for DHS and been a CPSU member
she says. for more than 15 years.
“I love being actively involved with on-ground Bill was responsible for initiating HSR
conservation works. I like to think I am making forums within DHS to promote information
a difference and having an influence on the exchange and support for all HSRs and
long term conservation of Australia’s precious has lead on health and safety initiatives at
and rare alpine environment.” the MYJC.
Elaine thrives in working among a team of The Awards were held in late October and
dedicated rangers and revels in the opportunity topped off a huge and successful Work Safe
to share skills and ideas. Week with Awards being presented to eight
She’s aspiring to participate in work recipients in front of guests at a gala event held
exchange programs overseas to further her at Crown Palladium.
experience and counts her involvement in There were 134 entries with 25 finalists in
organising the fourth International Ranger this year’s Awards from which Bill and the other
Federation World Ranger Congress that was seven recipients were chosen.
held in 2003 at Wilsons Promontory National Each finalist and Award recipient sets
Park as one of the highlights of her career. new standards of safety at work. Their
“Over 150 rangers from over 25 countries dedication, commitment and leadership
spent a week together at the Prom talking park are inspirational.
management. Elaine Thomas, Park Ranger, Mt Beauty Alpine National Park Bill encourages others to become a HSR
Very inspirational!” and improve your workplace for all.
6 Park Life December 2008 December 2008 7
ALL our Schools across Victoria celebrated the contribution and
achievements made to their communities by School Services
Officers last month and here’s a few snaps of the festivities.
8 December 2008