April 21, 2011

Inside this issue:

  • 2011 Easter holidays and Consolidated Leave
  • Additional Public Holidays – who gets the leave?
  • Additional Public Holidays – overtime
  • LSV reminder
  • A ‘Super’ lump sum – check your payslip

2011 Easter holidays and Consolidated Leave

Permanent members are advised that further to Sitreps 9, 42 and 51 of 2010, this Easter Sunday (only) is an additional public holiday for the purposes of Clause 6 of the Award. Consolidated Leave should therefore be credited for all hours worked on Sunday 24 April, as follows:

B Platoon – 8 hours consolidated leave, from midnight until 0800 hours;

D Platoon – 10 hours consolidated leave, from 0800 hours until 1800 hours;

A Platoon – 6 hours consolidated leave, from 1800 hours until midnight;

E Platoon – 12 hours consolidated leave, from 0600 hours until 1800 hours; and

Generally, and regardless of roster – any permanent member who works at any time on 24 April, including by way of overtime (including stay back) or part change of shift, will be entitled to consolidated leave for those hours worked.

Background

Easter Friday and Easter Saturday are both standard public holidays and therefore attract no additional benefits for members who work on either of those days (the Award’s wage rates include compensation for working standard public holidays).

Easter Monday is also a standard public holiday, as is Anzac Day, however because both days fall on 25 April this year, the Easter Monday public holiday has been moved to Tuesday 26 April which will be a substituted (but not additional) public holiday. Again, both Monday 25 April (Anzac Day) and Tuesday 26 April (the substituted Easter Monday holiday) will attract no additional benefits for members who work on either of those days.

While Easter Sunday is not an additional gazetted public holiday in the traditional sense, it is nonetheless an additional public holiday by way of common sense. Easter Sunday clearly satisfies the requirements and intentions of Award subclause 6.4, which provides (in part) that- In cases where additional public holidays are Gazetted, employees who actually work on such days, in the area covered by the public holiday, shall be credited with the same number of hours of consolidated leave as those hours actually worked on each such day.”

As explained earlier, the Award’s wage rates include a loading “in compensation for the incidence, as a result of the normal roster arrangements, of work on weekends and public holidays”. Prior to 2011 there were 10 standard public holidays per annum, but the Keneally Government’s Public Holidays Act 2010 extended this to 11 per year by also making Easter Sunday a public holiday for the first time. It follows that firefighters who work this Easter Sunday will not be compensated for working this additional public holiday by way of the Award’s wage rates and are therefore entitled to be credited with consolidated leave instead.

It should be noted that the Department’s current view is that Easter Sunday is not, technically speaking, an “additional public holiday” within the narrowest possible reading of the Award and Public Holidays Act and that subclause 6.4 – and the crediting of consolidated leave – therefore does not apply. The Union will attempt to resolve this matter through further discussion with the Department next week. More to follow in Sitrep 20.

Additional Public Holidays – who gets the leave?

Permanent members are entitled to consolidated leave for any and all hours actually worked within the 24 hours of each additional (not standard) public holiday. If members perform a part-change of shift then the member who actually works the additional public holiday gets the consolidated leave, not the member who was originally rostered to work that day.

Additional Public Holidays – overtime

Permanent members who work overtime within a 24 hour additional public holiday period should also be credited with consolidated leave for any and all such hours worked. Subclause 6.4 is clear in providing that “employees who actually work on such days, in the area covered by the public holiday, shall be credited with the same number of hours of consolidated leave as those hours actually worked on each such day”. There is no exception made for overtime, so a member who is required to stay back for two hours after a rostered day shift would be entitled to 12 hours’ consolidated leave, not 10. Similarly, members on recall should also receive consolidated leave for all hours worked within that calendar day, as should members in Operational Support positions who perform any work on an additional public holiday.

LSV reminder

Metro area members are reminded that appliances are not to be used as de facto LSVs under any circumstances. Pumps have been asked to drive out of area to pick up cylinders because the LSV isn’t available. This is neither safe nor agreed – pumps should continue to receive cylinders and equipment via the LSV. If sufficient cylinders (i.e. one per SCBA set) aren’t available, inform the Union and the Zone that you are offline. Members can be assured that the Union continues to press the Department on these LSV related problems and is not about to let the issue fade away. More to follow.

A ‘Super’ lump sum – check your payslip

Sitrep 15 confirmed, as predicted, that the 2011 Award lump sum payments were indeed superable and therefore required the Department to make an additional 9% contribution on top of that lump sum as an extra compulsory employer superannuation payment. This extra super payment ($9 for all retained members, and $45 for all permanent members who are not in SSS or SASS) should be included within the amount shown in the “Employer Contribution – Super” section. Note that this is ordinarily 9% of your superable pay for that fortnight, so for this week it should be 9% plus this week’s extra ($9 or $45) super payment.

 

Jim Casey
State Secretary