November 27, 2015

speeding-2-1160357Inside this issue:

  • Prior employment recognised – update #2
  • Kilometre claims: specified journey or official business?
  • In brief …

Prior employment recognised – update #2

SITREP 29 reported our agreement for the recognition of permanent members’ prior firefighting employment, and SITREP 30 revealed the priorservice@fire.nsw.gov.au email address for applications. This agreement is backdated to 2 January 2015, so there’s no threat of lost wages on that count, but the Department’s delay in processing applications is now preventing some members’ from applying for rescue, aerial, hazmat and comms qualifications and/or for the SF Program.

The Union continues to press for all applications to be processed and confirmed asap. In the meantime, members who are still waiting for confirmation of recognition of their prior firefighting service are advised to calculate the time to credited using the scale reported in SITREP 29 and then operate as if it has already been confirmed. If, after doing this, you have an application for training and/or a position rejected on the grounds that you have not yet completed the required service or do not hold the required rank then you should contact the Union for assistance.

Kilometre claims: specified journey or official business?

While all kilometres under the Retained Award are paid at the same rate as the Permanent Award’s $1.19 per km relieving rate, permanent members claiming under Clause 26 or subclause 16.5.2 are paid one of two rates: specified journey (up to 36.29 cents/km) or official business (up to 102.32 cents/km).

The Union recently secured almost $1,400 dollars more for one member by successfully arguing for payment at the official business rate rather than the Department’s original specified journey payment. In this case, the member had requested that the Department provide transport prior to travelling and, when this did not occur, confirmed that public transport was not reasonably available. If public transport is reasonably available, but members elect to drive, then the specified journey rate applies.

Members intending to claim at the higher official business rate must therefore (a) obtain approval for their travel, and (b) request that the Department provide transport before travelling.

In brief …

  • The FBEU extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of RFS Deputy Captain Paul Sanderson who died attending a bushfire in the upper Hunter last evening.
  • Yesterday’s State Committee meeting did not adopt SITREP 36’s roster proposal, deciding instead to explore further options with the Department. In the interim, management should not be using, or threatening to use, transfers to resolve alternative roster disputes. More to follow.
  • Help build the biggest climate march the world has seen by joining the People’s Climate March this Sunday, 29 November. Meet at the Union office at midday, or at 1pm at the Domain.
  • With only three days left, the Movember Fire team has hit the lead in the Triple Zero Movember Challenge. There’s still time to donate, with donations over $60 securing a limited edition Movember Fire T-shirt (first in best dressed). Donate at https://au.movember.com/team/1945501

Jim Casey
State Secretary

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