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PERSPECTIVE SUES_ SETTLES_ SULKS then SKULKS

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					                                     PUBLIC
    PERSPECTIVE                    A Publication of the Community & Public Sector Union / Victorian Branch www.cpsuvic.org




SUES, SETTLES,
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
Christine Nixon.
   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”




                                                                          Park Life
  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,
                                                Variety Bash
                                                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
                                                                                                                                                             Park Life
                                                                                                                                                             1. Pristine Living
                                                                                                                                                             A passion for the outdoors and Victoria’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Happy Workers”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Healthy Parks”

                                                   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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      other folk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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


                                                UNION DIALOGUE
                                                                                                                                                                               Victoria”                              commence.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             change.
                                                                                                                                                             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: enquiry@cpsuvic.org                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                                     PUBLIC
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




                                                                                                                                                                                                     PERSPECTIVE
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



                                                                                                                                                            DECEMBER ‘07:
                                                                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CAMPAIGN UPDATE
                                                                                                                        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
implementation.
                                                             ‘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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     unfinished business,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CAN DO
                                                                             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



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              >www.rightsatwork.com.au
                                                                             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.
LONG OVERDUE

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




FINES WELCOME

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 ohs@actu.asn.au 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
                                                                                                                                              Magistrates Courts.
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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5
                                                                                       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
                                                                                                                         VPSA’09.
                                                                                                                         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
                                                                away.
                                                                   “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
    etc.
                                                                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
                                                                                                                              Park Life
                                                                                                                                                                                                            5
                                                                                                                                                                   Walking Kokoda!
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.
change.
   “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
Recognition Week
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

				
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