November 8, 2007

Inside this notice:

  • In Orders 2007/23 – Use of exercise equipment
  • New insurance arrangements for First State Super members
  • Risk Assessment worksheets banned
  •  Reminder on voluntary health assessments
  • Operation of relieving matrices
  • 2007 SOPP entitlements
  • Disclosure of personal details to Police
  • Workers who keep you safe rally – Nov 22nd Read more…
November 6, 2007

The entire Australian trade union movement is currently focussed on campaigning against the Howard Government’s ‘WorkChoices’ laws and the inevitability that if a Howard Government is returned firefighters in NSW will be railroaded into the ‘WorkChoices’ regime. November 22nd is the day the ACTU has called on us to stand up against the most extreme union busting laws this country has ever seen and put as many firies in uniform as possible on the streets to protest. Read more…

November 2, 2007

Members are advised that the concept of a simple electronic Pre-incident Plan reporting system that doesn’t change the extent or type of involved workload has been agreed to but are reminded that no other alteration or expansion involving pre-incident planning has been agreed to. Read more…

November 1, 2007

Last Friday’s In Orders 2007/23 contained a policy item headed “Exercise Equipment” and which replaced the previous policy of the same name in In Orders 1999/5. On first blush (there was no consultation whatsoever with the Union prior to publication), the revised policy contains two major changes from the ’99 policy. Read more…

October 25, 2007
Composite Appliance at 239 Station Broken Hill South To be Staffed in Accordance with Notice dated 22 October 2007.
Members attached to 238 Station Broken Hill and 239 Broken Hill South are Instructed to ensure the composite appliance located at 239 Station Broken Hill South is to be staffed according to the Notice dated October 22nd 2007.
The purpose of the appliance is dedicated to bushfire suppression and the following instruction will apply.
The only period where water tankers need not be staffed is within the non-Bushfire Danger Period, which is the six winter (ish) months starting 1 April and concluding 30 September each year. Even then, these appliances must still be staffed at all times of declared High or Extreme Fire Danger, regardless of the time of year.
There is nothing in the agreement, nor is it intended that water tankers are automatically grounded between 1 April and 30 September each year. A tanker will only be taken off line if there is insufficient retained availability to staff it and even then, this can only occur between 1 April and 30 September each year.
Simon Flynn
State Secretary


Composite Appliance at 239 Station Broken Hill South To be Staffed in Accordance with Notice dated 22 October 2007. Read more…

October 24, 2007

The Department has written to the Union informing us that due to the Xmas/New Year period falling at a critical time in the pay week cycle this year it is unable to process casual overtime and relieving allowances for permanent members on the week commencing 21st December. The payment of these monies is proposed to take place in the subsequent pay period 4th January 2008. Read more…

October 24, 2007
An article appeared on the front page of today’s Australian newspaper headed “Fireys’ union axes ALP, backs Greens” which opened with the line ‘THE firefighters’ union has broken ranks with Labor, urging voters to support the Greens and declaring the ALP to be full of “out-of-touch careerists”,’ (see http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22644411-5013871,00.html ).
The article quotes Mr Peter Marshall, who is both the National Secretary and Victorian Branch Secretary of the United Firefighters’ Union of Australia.
Readers of that article could be excused for believing that Mr Marshall was speaking on behalf of all firefighters, including in NSW, however Mr Marshall was in fact speaking on behalf of Victorian firefighters in his capacity as the Secretary of that Branch.
Neither the National Committee of Management nor the National Executive Committee of the United Firefighters’ Union of Australia has met to consider the forthcoming federal election, and there is no national position.
To avoid doubt, the FBEU is committed to the defeat of the Howard Government and is strongly urging all firefighters in NSW to put the Liberal/National candidate in their seat last.
Simon Flynn
State Secretary

An article appeared on the front page of today’s Australian newspaper headed “Fireys’ union axes ALP, backs Greens” which opened with the line ‘The firefighters’ union has broken ranks with Labor, urging voters to support the Greens and declaring the ALP to be full of “out-of-touch careerists”,’ (see http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22644411-5013871,00.html ). Read more…

October 24, 2007

After more than 12 years of argument over who is the Officer in Charge when permanent members replace retained members, the Union has now managed to force the Departments hand to set out clear instructions when it decides it will use permanent firefighters to make up safe minimum crewing. Read more…

October 22, 2007
With the commencement of the 07/08 Bushfire Danger period, the Union reminds all members of the water tanker staffing agreement with the Department. This agreement
(which arose from the 2000 Award negotiations) reads as follows;
Acceptance by the Union of an arrangement whereby firefighting appliances dedicated to bushfire suppression (ie water tankers and composite-type appliances) and which are ordinarily staffed by retained firefighters will no longer need to be staffed during the non-bushfire danger period. Provided that all such appliances will continue to be staffed in accordance with In Orders 1995/20, including through the use of permanent firefighters if necessary, at all times within the declared bushfire danger period and on any other declared period of high or extreme bushfire danger. Further, the parties accept that this reform will not in any way restrict or alter the existing response arrangements for retained firefighters.
Members are reminded of the main points of this agreement:
The only period where water tankers need not be staffed is within the non-Bushfire Danger Period, which is the six winter(ish) months starting 1 April and concluding 30 September each year. Even then, these appliances must still be staffed at all times of declared High or Extreme Fire Danger, regardless of the time of year.
There is nothing in the agreement, nor is it intended that water tankers are automatically grounded between 1 April and 30 September each year. A tanker will only be taken off line if there is insufficient retained availability to staff it and even then, this can only occur between 1 April and 30 September each year.
This agreement applies to all water tankers, as well as to all composites which are dedicated to bushfire suppression. In other words, if a composite has a role at a Station in addition to just bushfire suppression, then it should still be staffed 24 hours a day, each and every day of the year (as is the case with pumpers) in accordance with In Orders 1995/20.
Members are to ensure that NSWFB water tankers are now staffed at all times – if necessary by permanent recalls. Any attempt by the Department to breach this agreement should be reported to the Union office as soon as possible.
Simon Flynn
State Secretary

With the commencement of the 07/08 Bushfire Danger period, the Union reminds all members of the water tanker staffing agreement with the Department. Read more…

October 19, 2007

The Union’s 97th Annual General Meeting will be held at the Trades Hall Auditorium, 377-383 Sussex Street, Sydney commencing at 10.00am on Friday 30 November. Read more…

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