26 August, 2016
  • Higher Duty rates for LSOs on leave
  • Victoria CFA dispute update #1
  • Turnbull Govt turns on firies – update #1
  • Recycled helmets go west
  • RTAS outage

Read more…

11 August, 2016

State Committee

This is my final SITREP. Today’s State Committee of Management meeting unanimously appointed FBEU Vice President Leighton Drury to the office of State Secretary for the remainder of the 2015-18 State Committee term following my decision to stand down after more than 7 years in the position. My involvement with the Union will continue as the State Committee also appointed me to the vacant Vice-President position formerly held by Leighton.

It has been an honour to serve as your State Secretary since 2009. I am proud of what our Union has achieved in that time, not least:

  • the successful two year community campaign that stopped permanent TOLing;
  • the 2012 general strike that saved our workers compensation protections;
  • the 2014 Permanent and Retained Awards that delivered generational reforms and the highest payrises in the NSW public sector;
  • the 2015 D&D Award reforms to future-proof what remains the gold standard of firefighter protection in this country; and
  • the continued improvement of the FBEU’s financial position, to be better equipped for the struggles to come.

My decision to step down is based upon two things. The first is a desire to get back to operational firefighting. The second is my intention to spend more time with my young family. Along with the State Committee I have full confidence in Leighton as the new State Secretary and look forward to working with him over the years to come.

Jim Casey
State Secretary
2009-2016

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

8 August, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • Retained select calling not agreed
  • MFR survey
  • Turnbull Govt turns on firies
  • We’ve moved

Retained select calling not agreed

Contrary to rumour, the Union has not agreed to the select calling of retained appliances at mixed stations. Members who believe select calling may already be occurring should notify the Union immediately, as Clause 27 of the Retained Award requires the Department consult with the Union over any proposal by the Department which will result in, or is likely to result in, a substantial and ongoing reduction in the work collectively available to a [retained] brigade’s employees” and no such consultation has taken place.

Retained members should be aware that Zone and Area management do not have a free hand to do as they please. Clause 27 means they must consult the Union before implementing any change that may reduce your brigade’s work, and the Union can and in most cases will refer the matter to the Industrial Relations Commission for determination if the proposed change is not agreed.

MFR survey

The Department this week emailed all staff advising that “the Australia and New Zealand School of Government is currently assisting in making recommendations to Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) on how to proceed with the development and implementation of an Emergency First Responder program”, and inviting all to participate in a survey “that seeks your views and input on the proposed program”. The email did not mention this, but the Union met with these consultants several weeks ago and fully appraised them of the Union’s policy on, and concerns around, MFR.

While the Union questions the need for a survey of this kind (we’ve already conducted an extended internal debate and democratic vote by members on the question), we also have no objection to members participating. Our only advice to those who do so would be to remember to press the need for additional remuneration before we could ever consider taking on this plainly additional work.

Turnbull Govt turns on firies

The newly re-elected Turnbull Government has wasted no time in making good on its pre-election threat to legislate to block an Enterprise Agreement (EA) between the UFUA’s Victoria Branch and the Country Fire Authority (see “Victoria CFA dispute” in SITREP 20/16). Employment Minister Michaela Cash this week confirmed the Government’s intention to amend the Fair Work Act so that federal EAs can no longer include terms that “restrict or diminish emergency management bodies’ ability to actually deal with emergencies”. What this might mean in practice remains unclear. Thankfully the FBEU and our Awards operate under the NSW Industrial Relations Act, not the Fair Work Act, but this is nevertheless a disturbing development for all emergency services workers that we will be following closely.

We’ve moved

The Union’s Sydney office has relocated to the ground floor of our Surry Hills building, having leased level 1 to an external tenant as part of the State Committee’s wider strategy for revenue diversification and improved financial management. All of our contact details remain unchanged.

Darin Sullivan
President and Acting State Secretary

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

23 July, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • Contamination of FRNSW training sites update #2
  • Department’s annual leave errors continue
  • Privacy breach, at it again
  • Union’s Annual Toast, a success

Read more…

8 July, 2016
  • Meal and travel allowances increased on 1 July 2016
  • Reminder: Union dues are tax deductible
  • New Country Rosters update #1
  • Retained EOB entries

Read more…

1 July, 2016
  • 2016 Federal Election
  • More LF positions advertised
  • NSW Budget – the Coalition still hates you
  • Victoria CFA dispute
  • Less than 3 weeks to the Rex

Read more…

18 June, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • Leading ranks acting up
  • Sub-branch planning day a success

Read more…

3 June, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • Grab yourself a $20K pay rise
  • Annual Leave swaps
  • CAFS staffing resolved

Read more…

27 May, 2016
  • Contamination of FRNSW training sites update #1
  • Strategic Operations Centre
  • Inquiry into violence against emergency services workers
  • Threlfies

Read more…

20 May, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • “New” Lambton station
  • 2016 Rex Threlfo Annual Toast

Read more…

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