VICTORIA'S park rangers and their support staff have won a 13.5 per cent pay rise over three years.The full bench of Fair Work Commission yesterday handed down its decision, which will affect more than 1000 employees of Parks Victoria.
Community and Public Sector Union Victorian secretary Karen Batt said the union was very pleased with the wage increase, which totals 13.5 per cent over three years.
"It's been a long hard fight," she said.
"The decision recognises that the people who work in parks work very hard."
Unions and the Victorian Government had been negotiating a new enterprise agreement since October 2011.
The CPSU argued for a 17 per cent wage rise over three years, while the Government argued for 8 per cent over three years.
Industrial action last year included the closure of national and state parks with park rangers refusing to unlock entrance
gates, but the government responded by deploying non-union staff and a contractor to open up access to popular parks.
Australian Workers' Union Victorian secretary Cesar Melhem welcomed the decision but said unions had tried to work with the government for months before negotiations broke down and went to arbitration.
"It is a sensible outcome which has only been achieved after unions invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses," he said in a statement.
"It should not have come to this."
A Government spokesperson said the decision appeared be in line with the Government's wages policy, which provides for an annual rise of 2.5 per cent plus additional increases funded through productivity improvements.