December 12, 2008

The previous 2005 Award’s subclause 12.4 provided that members could not be directed to relieve or perform outduties between or into the Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford, Wyong or Wollongong Fire Districts. However, it also allowed for any member to be directed to relieve outside of those areas (including, for example, at Broken Hill).

The new Award’s subclause 12.4 now provides that members can no longer be directed to relieve or perform outduties anywhere outside their own Fire District unless they are either:
a)dedicated relievers (who are paid the relieving allowance for every shift worked); or
b)claiming residential priority on a transfer register for the area in question (and who will therefore be working closer to home).
The new subclause operates so that with the exception of relievers, every Firefighter and Station Officer member is now better off. Whilst proper management should also result in little if any real downside for relievers, this hasn’t always been the case to date and as a result, the Union is introducing the following rules for relieving members until it can be demonstrated that the new system is being managed appropriately.
Effective immediately, the following instruction is to be observed by all Relieving Firefighter and Station Officer members until advised otherwise by way of further Union notice:
1.    Within SydneySubject to points 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, relievers base-stationed within ME1, ME2, ME3, MS2, MS3, MW1 and MW2 may only be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.
2.    Within Metro NorthSubject to points 5 and 6, relievers base-stationed within MN1, MN2 and MN3 may only be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.
3.    Within Metro SouthFurther to point 1 and subject to point 6, relievers base-stationed within MS1, MS2 and MS3 may also be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.
4.    Within Metro WestFurther to point 1 and subject to point 6,, relievers base-stationed within MW1, MW2 and MW3 may also be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.
5.    Between the Central Coast
and SydneyFurther to points 1 and 2, relievers base-stationed within MN2 and ME2 may also be directed to relieve between those two Zones (only).
6.   Within and between
Regional ZonesFurther to points 1, 2, 3 and 4, all relievers may be directed to relieve within and between any and all Regional Zones unless determined otherwise by the Union on a case-by-case basis. Members who believe that a direction to relieve is unreasonable should contact the Union office for advice.
Continued calls to the Union office indicate that many members (and managers) believe that there is still a Union ban on so-called “leap frogging”. This ban was lifted years ago, and there is no longer any restriction whatsoever on the number of relievers (or out-duties) who can be “leap-frogged” in order to fill a vacancy. Indeed this is exactly what should be happening to relievers now because “leap frogging”, if exercised judiciously and fairly, will remove the need to send any reliever excessive distances – and the need for this instruction.
Simon Flynn
State Secretary

The previous 2005 Award’s subclause 12.4 provided that members could not be directed to relieve or perform outduties between or into the Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford, Wyong or Wollongong Fire Districts. However, it also allowed for any member to be directed to relieve outside of those areas (including, for example, at Broken Hill).

The new Award’s subclause 12.4 now provides that members can no longer be directed to relieve or perform outduties anywhere outside their own Fire District unless they are either:

a)dedicated relievers (who are paid the relieving allowance for every shift worked); or

b)claiming residential priority on a transfer register for the area in question (and who will therefore be working closer to home).

The new subclause operates so that with the exception of relievers, every Firefighter and Station Officer member is now better off. Whilst proper management should also result in little if any real downside for relievers, this hasn’t always been the case to date and as a result, the Union is introducing the following rules for relieving members until it can be demonstrated that the new system is being managed appropriately.

Effective immediately, the following instruction is to be observed by all Relieving Firefighter and Station Officer members until advised otherwise by way of further Union notice:

1.    Within SydneySubject to points 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, relievers base-stationed within ME1, ME2, ME3, MS2, MS3, MW1 and MW2 may only be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.

2.    Within Metro NorthSubject to points 5 and 6, relievers base-stationed within MN1, MN2 and MN3 may only be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.

3.    Within Metro SouthFurther to point 1 and subject to point 6, relievers base-stationed within MS1, MS2 and MS3 may also be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.

4.    Within Metro WestFurther to point 1 and subject to point 6,, relievers base-stationed within MW1, MW2 and MW3 may also be directed to relieve within and between those Zones.

5.    Between the Central Coast

and SydneyFurther to points 1 and 2, relievers base-stationed within MN2 and ME2 may also be directed to relieve between those two Zones (only).

6.   Within and between

Regional ZonesFurther to points 1, 2, 3 and 4, all relievers may be directed to relieve within and between any and all Regional Zones unless determined otherwise by the Union on a case-by-case basis. Members who believe that a direction to relieve is unreasonable should contact the Union office for advice.

 

Continued calls to the Union office indicate that many members (and managers) believe that there is still a Union ban on so-called “leap frogging”. This ban was lifted years ago, and there is no longer any restriction whatsoever on the number of relievers (or out-duties) who can be “leap-frogged” in order to fill a vacancy. Indeed this is exactly what should be happening to relievers now because “leap frogging”, if exercised judiciously and fairly, will remove the need to send any reliever excessive distances – and the need for this instruction.

 

Simon Flynn

State Secretary