January 20, 2012

Inside this issue:

  • Retained annual leave
  • Additional public holidays Christmas/New Year
  • SSS and SASS retirement planning seminars

Retained annual leave

Once again our members are scratching their heads in disbelief at management’s new instruction ordering retained firefighters to take all of their accumulated annual leave. For nearly two decades our retained members have been refused annual leave because it would result in shortages and cost overtime if they took holidays. Now the bean counters have said the sky is falling in because of the size of liability of retained accrued annual leave.

Needless to say that a push to have all retained use accrued leave within two or three years will do nothing other than implode the retained system. Maybe that’s the Department’s aim.

The Union advises retained members that management is unable to direct you to take any more than your current annual leave, unless you agree.

To be clear, you can only be instructed to take your current annual leave within six months of the anniversary date, that equates to 160 hours in total in a twelve month period. It’s also worthy of note that this so called liability starts around 77 cents per hour and averages around $8 per hour.

If members are instructed to take more than their current amount of leave, then they should contact the Union office immediately.

Additional public holidays Christmas/New Year

In SITREP 48/2011, the Union advised that members who worked on the state government declared additional public holidays on 25 December 2011 and 2 January 2012 were entitled to be credited consolidated leave for all hours actually worked on those days, as per sub clause 6.4 of the permanent Award. The Department has been somewhat tardy in crediting relevant members these amounts, but the Union has now been assured that they will appear in the next pay advice due on 26 January, and probably before that on ESS.

In a separate consolidated leave matter, some members report that they have been credited varying amounts of consolidated leave for no reason. Apparently it’s down to a glitch in the payroll software. Tempting as it may be to use this leave, members are advised not to do so, as the Department is within its rights to reclaim this incorrectly credited consolidated leave, and no doubt will.

SSS and SASS retirement planning seminars

 State Super hold seminars for members approaching retirement throughout Sydney and regional centres. For a full list of seminars, locations and registration details, SSS members should log on here and SASS members should log on here.

Jim Casey
State Secretary