November 13, 2017

Inside this issue:

  • No ‘catch up’ and ‘did not attend’ Union instructions stand
  • National beyondblue survey

No ‘catch up’ and ‘did not attend’ Union instructions stand

A Union Code Red imposing administrative bans for all Permanent members (only) was issued on 27 October, with a further Code Red confirming the lifting of those bans being issued on 31 October. This second notice instructed members that “there is to be no ‘catch-up’ work for administrative duties not performed between the commencement of bans on 27 October and now.”

Last Friday’s SITREP 37/17 followed with a further direction following numerous queries from Station Officer members about what to do with the banned e-AIRS reports, instructing members “to mark any reports outstanding as a result of those bans with ‘did not attend’, and to send them back.

That SITREP item caused an exchange of letters today (both of which are attached here for members information) followed by an email from the Office of the Commissioner to all staff despite a clear request to not do this. This provocative escalation was unhelpful and unnecessary.

The matter has been relisted for report back to the IRC this Friday at 0930 hours. In the interim, and until such time as a later Union notice advises otherwise then permanent members of Inspector rank and below are instructed (not merely advised) to:

  • ignore any directions from management to complete the banned fire reports;
  • mark and return the banned reports with “did not attend”; and
  • refer any manager or supervising officer who challenges you for observing this instruction to this notice.

National beyondblue survey

“Answering the call” is a beyondblue national survey which aims to collect much-needed evidence about the issues affecting the mental health and wellbeing of firefighters and other emergency services personnel and the best ways to provide support. The survey aims to investigate the prevalence of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk. Approximately 100,000 current and former employees and volunteers in fire and emergency services agencies across Australia, including the RFS and FRNSW have been invited to participate in the national survey. Findings will be available in late 2018.

The Union’s President met with beyondblue to ensure privacy and health concerns for our members were properly considered, and that participation in the survey is safe and positive experience for our members. It is on this basis that the Union supports the survey and encourages members, serving and retired, to participate.

For a copy of the beyondblue frequently asked questions on the suvery, click here.
For more information you can visit the beyondblue website by clicking here.

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

For a print copy of this SITREP click here.