September 2, 2016
  • Is your Service Allowance being paid?
  • LSOs and the Relieving Allowance
  • Award winner Pyrmont back from the dead
  • Recycled helmets go west – update #1

Is your Service Allowance being paid?

What started as a payslip inquiry resulted in $350 backpay for one permanent member this week after he discovered he was not being (and never had been) paid the 5 year Service Allowance. The Union’s intervention has resulted in a wider audit revealing more underpayments, with another member finding that his Service Allowance payments inexplicably stopped altogether in 2011.

Unhelpfully, the Department’s payslips still show the Service Allowance payments as “Badge 1” (for 5-10 years service), “Badge 2” (10-15 years) or “Badge 3” (15 or more years) – a hangover from the old Good Service Badges that were replaced by the Service Allowances in 2005. It follows that if you’re an SF, LF or QF with more than five years’ service and “Badge (1, 2 or 3)” is not appearing on your payslip then you’re probably owed backpay. Members in doubt should contact the Union for assistance.

 LSOs and the Relieving Allowance

SITREP 25’s report on LSOs on leave (see Higher Duty rates for LSOs on leave) triggered questions from LSO members about other entitlements, including the Relieving Allowance. The rules are this:

  1. An LSO who is a Relieving Officer (RO) should always be paid the Relieving Allowance for each shift they work, regardless of where or at what rank they work; or
  2. An LSO who is not an RO who acts up to Inspector should always be paid the Relieving Allowance for each shift they act up unless the LSO is acting up at their own station (subclause 12.18); and
  3. RO or not, an LSO who successfully applies for a Country or Operational Support Inspector position (see subclauses 7.5.3 and 7.5.4) that is not an RO position is not entitled to the Relieving Allowance.

LSO members who have not been paid the Relieving Allowance in accordance with the above advice are entitled to backpay and should contact the Union for further advice and assistance.

Award winner Pyrmont back from the dead

 The FBEU is more happy than most to see the newly-renovated 38 Station Pyrmont winning design awards, as reported in this week’s Commissioner’s Corner. Many members would not be aware that 38 Station was permanently closed by the Fahey Liberal Government (on the Department’s advice and without warning) in 1993, only to be re-opened by the Carr Labor Government (following a concerted FBEU campaign and against the Department’s advice) in 1997. That was not the first time that 38 Station closed only to be re-opened, but we fully expect it to be the last.

Recycled helmets go west – update #1

SITREP 25’s report on the attempt to recycle old helmets to retained (but not permanent) firefighters and subsequent Union instruction to members to ignore zone management by ordering and accepting only new issue helmets caused the Department to this week withdraw the offending news item from the FRNSW intranet and put the “initiative” on hold pending discussions with the Union. More to follow.

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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