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Reclassification – A WIN WELL DESERVED!

March 28, 2023

In 2021, the NPWS Field Officers and Skilled Trades Salaries and Conditions 2021 Award changed the progression criteria for Field Officers within the 1-2 and 3-4 classifications.

Historically, the way an employee would progress through their respective classifications would be based on a competency application, but in 2021 this shifted to annual increment as well as being dependent on satisfactory performance.

Unfortunately, NPWS did not implement this change and many employees failed to progress annually and because of this many have been underpaid for 18 months, plus.

AWU Delegate, Shay Wahrlich

In late 2022, this oversight was identified by Senior South Coast Delegate, Shay Wahrlich and a south coast activist who questioned if he was being underpaid. The dispute was set in motion and NPWS IR quickly acknowledged the error. This member progressed 2 levels and received a significant amount of backpay.

This win then set a precedent, meaning that approximately 200 employees across the state would receive backpay and progress immediately within their respective classification.

Therese Cobcroft,  AWU Delegate pictured with her AWU Organiser, Joe Hutchings

Therese has worked for NPWS for approximately 30 years. When she found out that she was entitled to jump from Grade 3, year 2 to Grade 4, year 2, she was ecstatic. For Therese, this level increase also came with approximately $5,000 in backpay.

On behalf of all AWU Officials, we’d like to congratulate all our Delegates and Members for identifying this issue and getting a win for all workers.

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