August 18, 2017
  • Emergency Services inquiry
  • Operational Support dispute – update #2
  • Health and Fitness testing – update #3
  • Regional North meetings this weekend

Emergency Services inquiry

SITREP 19 reported on the current Parliamentary Inquiry into emergency services agencies, submissions to which have now closed. Many (but not all) of the submissions, including the FBEU’s (submission no. 97) are now available by clicking here. Hearings commence next month and conclude 27 October, so more to follow.

Operational Support dispute – update #2

Since our last update in SITREP 26 on the Department’s attempt to employ permanent and retained firefighters as clerks in our Operational Support (OS) jobs to avoid our Awards’ higher wage rates, the Union has written to the Department, the Department has replied and the dispute has been to the Industrial Relations Commission twice, and most recently yesterday. Copies of both of those letters can be accessed by clicking here.

As SITREP 26 reported, the OS vacancies in ComSafe were re-advertised to permanent members and there were no (zero) applicants for the two OS2 positions by the close of applications this week. The Union proposed to re-advertise these vacancies to retained members who, if successful, would then be offered employment as permanent firefighters. The Department agrees about advertising the positions to retained staff, but proposes instead to employ the successful applicants as clerks rather than firefighters. These are our jobs – real redeployment options for injured permanent members and fast track permanent firefighter opportunities for our retained members – and we will fight to keep them. The dispute next returns to the IRC on Monday 28 August.

Health and Fitness testing – update #3

Conciliation before the Industrial Relations Commission has continued since our last update in SITREP 25 and has led to in-principle agreement that health checks will commence in July 2018 (not 2017), and that members will undertake a health check with their chosen doctor once every five years up to age 60 (the checks’ regularity beyond 60 remains unresolved). It has also been agreed that annual fitness drills will commence in January 2018, but there is still plenty of important detail to be worked though on both the health checks and the drills. The matter returns for further conciliation on 11 September.

Regional North meetings this weekend

I will be at the following stations to discuss our current activities and issues, including the RBRP threat, and I invite and encourage all members (not only those at these stations) who can to come along.

424 Port Macquarie                Saturday, 19 August at 0730 hours
316 Goonellabah                     Saturday, 19 August at 1800 hours
468 Tweed Heads                   Sunday, 20 August at 0730 hours
257 Coffs Harbour                  Sunday, 20 August at 1230 hours

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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