March 18, 2011

Inside this issue:

  • Management abuses sick leave
  • Kincumber going 10/14, RFSA going postal



Management abuses sick leave

The Union has repeatedly warned the Department about ongoing abuses of its Attendance Management Policy (AMP) and sick leave reporting systems, only to be assured that these were isolated incidents and would not happen again. In spite of these assurances the atrocities have continued unabated, with bosses demanding personal medical information from both members and the BMO’s, the public release of lists containing members’ medical status and diagnoses, the instigation of unfounded or clearly unnecessary AMP interviews, the use of the AMP to victimise an employee who was pursing his rights through the IRC and reliance upon sick leave absences more than 12 months ago, to mention a few.

In light of these abuses and the repeated warnings given to the Department over its misuse of the AMP, permanent members are instructed that effective immediately, no member is to arrange, conduct or attend any AMP interview until further notice from the State Secretary.

Kincumber going 10/14, RFSA going postal

The imminent opening of the new S/O and 3, 10/14 Roster station at Kincumber has been preceded by months of inter-service wrangling over boundaries and response protocols, some of which has spilled over into the local media. That wrangling was finally settled at yesterday’s Fire Services Joint Standing Committee, of which I am a member, with agreement reached for numerous FRNSW District extensions and an automatic FRNSW response to every structure incident within the Gosford local government area. Significantly, this now includes the automatic response of not one, but two FRNSW pumpers to structure fires and MVA’s within large parts of the Gosford Rural Fire District.

No sooner had the Kincumber issue been put to bed than the bogus Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) today placed an ad in the Central Coast Express Advocate in response to an alleged “fire safety scare campaign” by persons unknown, the inference being that we were behind it. This is not true. The FBEU does not creep around anonymously behind the scenes. It’s not our style.

The RFSA’s ad today breezily reassures the nervous citizens of the Central Coast that “..cooperative firefighting arrangements ensure that every community receives the highest levels of fire and emergency protection”. That being so, they should have no argument with the following Union instruction to all Communications members.

All Comms members are hereby instructed that, effective immediately, FRNSW Kariong (either and/or both appliances, at the discretion of the Comms member and/or the Station Commander Kariong) is to be responded to any and all reported MVA’s occurring on the F3 Freeway between the Hawkesbury Bridge and the Ourimbah exit. This instruction is to be strictly observed and shall remain in force until directed otherwise by the State Secretary.

Jim Casey
State Secretary