July 6, 2018
  • Meal and travel allowances increased on 1 July
  • SIC and tired of being watched
  • Aerial fleet crisis – update #1
  • Health Check Pack finalised – update #1
  • EOFY reminder to claim your Union dues as a tax deduction

Meal and travel allowances increased on 1 July

Each year certain allowances in our Awards increase on and from 1 July. Click here for a table containing the new meal and travel allowances, as confirmed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) this week. The allowances are determined at a level consistent with the reasonable allowance amounts for the 2018/19 financial year, as determined by the ATO and the Sydney CPI increase for the March quarter. Members are entitled and advised to claim the new rates immediately and back to 1 July.

SIC and tired of being watched

Senior Instructors Country have recently been asked to fill in a reporting system for their daily activities – as with all of these types of reporting it appears to be nothing more than a time and motion study. Members are being asked how many minutes and hours per day they spend conducting drill, travelling, doing administrative tasks or overtime. Unsurprisingly this system has been neither discussed with, nor agreed to, by the Union. Members are advised that they do not have to fill in a daily breakdown of their day, but the Award requirements regarding the eight-week roster must still be completed.

Aerial fleet crisis – update #1

Members may have seen the SMH article this week announcing the Government’s $6.8M spend on two new aerial platforms and 6 aerial pumpers, if not a copy of the article can be read on the online version of this SitRep. I have written to Commissioner Baxter seeking a briefing on these new appliances, in particular if they have been ordered, when they will be delivered, if they are fully funded and where they are intended to go. More to follow.

Health Check Pack finalised – update #1

Feedback has revealed a misunderstanding about the final Health Check Pack that was attached to SitRep 17, with some members mistakenly thinking it an agreed document between the Department and the Union. Some parts like the Guide were agreed, but other parts were not and were determined instead by the IRC after two years of argument and hearings. The IRC statement attached to SitRep 17 explained that “The position adopted by the FBEU was that the firefighter’s nominated medical practitioner would review and discuss the firefighter’s health and fitness check, together with the results, with the firefighter and advise FRNSW that the firefighter had attended and completed the required health check. No other information would be provided to FRNSW.” Like most disputes before the IRC, neither party got it all their own way.

EOFY reminder to claim your Union dues as a tax deduction

Members are reminded that your Union dues are fully tax deductible and should be claimed as a work-related expense in annual tax returns. Your FRNSW Payment Summary should include the amount of Union dues paid (and to be claimed) for the 2017/18 year.

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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