May 19, 2017

Inside this issue:

  • e-Recall initiatives
  • FESL leaflet now available
  • In brief

e-Recalls initiative

The Union and the Department agreed some time ago on the concept of an electronic recall system, but ongoing negotiations are yet to resolve some key differences, including:

  • the Department does not want published lists. The Union wants lists available online.
  • the Department wants a GSA wide recall system. The Union proposes Zone-based lists.
  • the Department expects members to nominate dates and times they will be available. The Union’s system does not require members to declare any availability, ever.
  • Both parties propose to offer recalls by order of recall hours (lowest to highest) worked over the previous 12 months, but the Department wants to override this if it thinks the distance from the member’s station to the recall station (and therefore the km payment) is too high. The Union’s system avoids this by operating within zones.
  • The Department’s system requires intervention from the Duty Commander, firstly to determine if the kms are too high, and secondly to telephone the member(s). The Union’s system is entirely automated and relies instead on sms messages to the top 5 on the list, who can ignore the sms and decline the recall, or reply “Y” and perform the recall. Any recall that remains unclaimed after 5 minutes will then be offered to the next 5 on the list, and so on until filled.
  • The Department’s system penalises members who decline a recall or could not be contacted by crediting them with those recall hours anyway (ie, they then go to the bottom of the list). The Union’s system does not penalise members, it just by-passes them.
  • The Department’s system is less transparent, less objective and requires more intervention and effort from both Duty Commanders and the members willing to perform recalls. The Union’s proposal will completely avoid disputes about phone calls not being made or taken, or excessive kms..

The parties agree that members claiming residential priority status will choose to perform recalls either in the transfer register area in which they live, or in the zone in which they are based, but not both.

FESL leaflet now available

It has started to dawn on many homeowners that they will soon be paying more, and often hundreds of dollars more under Berejiklian’s FESL rip off. Many of them are expected to vent their anger at us, so the Union has prepared a brief leaflet for members to give to people who ask or complain about the new levy. Print a few off (either colour or B&W), cut along the dotted line and keep a bundle handy on your appliance. The leaflet can be downloaded by clicking here.

In brief …

  • The Union is preparing a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into emergency services, with a particular focus on bullying, harassment and discrimination, that was confirmed last week.
  • Today’s announcement by the Victorian Labor Government of a major overhaul of the state’s fire services (to be overseen by former Commissioner Mullins) is very big news indeed. More to follow.

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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