November 22, 2017

Inside this issue:

  • Statutory Declarations: Dispute settled with new agreed form – update #1
  • Progress on presumptive legislation
  • In brief …

Statutory Declarations: Dispute settled with new agreed form – update #1

The dispute – although settled the week before with an agreed new Stat Dec form – returned to the IRC last Friday after the Department complained that our instruction in SITREP 38 to mark affected e-AIRS reports as “did not attend” and to send them back was new and additional industrial action.

The Department had sought directions against the Union but a couple of hours of conciliation later saw the IRC eventually make recommendations (not directions) to the effect that:

  1. The Union agree to complete the work that was banned between 27 and 31 October;
  2. The parties discuss the need for e-AIRS reports in order to avoid similar confusion in future; and
  3. The quarterly Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) meetings that were scrapped by Commissioner Baxter resume, and that the Commissioner and FBEU Secretary attend every JCC meeting.

The Union has accepted all three recommendations and consequently, the instructions issued to members in the Code Red dated 31 October and SITREP 38 are hereby rescinded. Members should therefore now complete any outstanding reports (including any e-AIRS reports showing as incomplete) from the period during which those bans were operative.

The Department is also understood to have accepted the IRC recommendations and I look forward to the resumption of regular and productive direct negotiations with the FRNSW Commissioner.

Progress on presumptive legislation

Momentum continues to build on the back of continued Union agitation for the introduction of presumptive cancer legislation for NSW firefighters (see SITREP 33), with the NSW Labor Opposition committing to put forward such a bill “in the near future”, and calling upon the Government and all members of the Parliament to support the bill. Members can find a link to the Shadow Minister, Guy Zangari’s speech last week to Parliament by clicking here.

In brief …

Bennelong by-election – Unions NSW and its affiliates (including the FBEU) are gearing up for the Bennelong by-election. The dual-citizenship controversy’s impact on the Senate has raised the risk that Turnbull’s anti-worker reforms will pass, so a Labor win in Bennelong looms as a potential game-changer for workers in Australia. I will be calling FBEU members in Bennelong to explain the need to put the Liberals last, and I encourage members with friends or relatives in the electorate to do likewise.

Movember 2017 – Twelve years on, and the Union’s President is again leading a hairy bunch of FBEU members through another gruelling Movember. The ‘Movember Fire’ team is also taking on other emergency services in the Movember 000 Challenge. Anyone can still join and all donations large or small are welcomed. Click on the link here or Google movember-fire.

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

For a printable copy of this SITREP click here.