November 20, 2015

give-way-1444077Inside this issue:

  • 10/14 versus 24 hrs – who gives way? Update #1
  • Leading Firefighters now acting up

10/14 versus 24 hrs – who gives way? Update #1

Some permanent members remain disappointed by the absence of rules to break the impasse when a station’s members cannot all agree on a roster. The Union negotiated a framework that allows members the opportunity to agree to work different rosters that suit, but there is no guarantee and no right to work an alternative roster. We also negotiated a framework to allow members the opportunity to swap shifts but there has never been a guarantee or right to work PCOS and nobody has ever expected the Union to arrange them between or for members. Alternative rosters are no different.

Nevertheless, SITREP 29 sought members’ feedback on one possible solution to the problem when four members (ie, one per platoon) at a station cannot agree, which was:

  • If only one out of fourseeks to work an alternative roster then he/she would be transferred to another station where members are working (or seeking to work) that same alternative roster;
  • If two out of fourseek to work the same alternative roster then they would be transferred to another station where members are working (or seeking to work) that same alternative roster;
  • If three out of fourseek to work the same alternative roster then the remaining member who does not agree would be transferred to another station working the default roster; and
  • In all three cases, the four members in question would remain on the station’s default roster (in most cases the 10/14) until the required transfer(s) occur(s). If a transfer was not possible (eg, it’s a stand-alone station or qualifications would be lost) then the alternative roster would not be approved.

That proposal was due to be considered by the State Committee’s September meeting and then placed on the AGM agenda for member approval, but the lack of member feedback saw the question deferred. Members are again asked to comment prior to this month’s SCOM meeting next Thursday 26 November.

In the meantime I’d urge members to keep a sense of perspective about alternative rosters. Members who choose to stay on the 10/14 have no need to explain themselves, but the sheer (and unexpected) weight of support for 24 hour shifts can no longer be ignored. That said, if the consequence of disagreement at your station is that you find yourself “stuck “ on the 10/14 then it’s hardly the end of the world either. Also, some members are reportedly still working the 10/14 out of fear that 24 hour shifts will kill a platoon and lead to a 56 hour week. This is rubbish. Work the 10/14 by all means if that is your preference, but don’t do so simply on the basis of ratbag scaremongering.

Leading Firefighters now acting up

Congratulations to the first members to complete the Leading Firefighter Program, and who are now LFs. While these LFs are now covering SOs on leave for up to 28 days, members are reminded that:

  • the Award’s Clause 7 expressly prohibits LFs from acting up into a vacant position;
  • Only SOs (ROs, spare or on overtime) can be used to fill a vacant SO position;
  • LFs cannot act up to cover SOs on outduties, but may be used to cover LSOs acting up to Inspector; and
  • LFs who act up at their own station are not performing an outduty, but acting up elsewhere is an outduty and is subject to the same conditions (including the annual 12 limit) as any other outduty.

Jim Casey
State Secretary

For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.