January 13, 2012

Inside this issue:

  • Health and safety protections going backwards
  • FBEU Fighting Fund
  • Financial relief for members who stopped work in June and September 2011 [Read more]
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March 5, 2010

listInside this issue:

  • New transfer registers
  • Additional gazetted holiday bonanza [Read more]
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February 26, 2010

agreementInside this issue:

  • Waratah Dispute settled with new stations and extra jobs
  • Drug and alcohol protocol
  • All permanent members fined today

[Read more]

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July 24, 2009

picture5_contact_1Inside this issue:

  • Part Change of Shift – who gets the relieving allowance?
  • Retained Working Group
  • Support for members

[Read more]

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October 9, 2008


Following settlement of the Union’s wage campaign the Department has now commenced paying the new 2008 Awards’ rates of pay and allowances on and from Friday 26 September, so the increased rates should first appear in all members’ pays today, Thursday 9 October. The Department has also advised the Union that it will be making a one off lump sum payment for the 16 weeks of back-pay between Friday 20 June 2008 and Thursday 25 September on Thursday 23 October (ie, next pay day).
In accordance with the Union’s registered rules, Union membership dues have also now increased in line with these latest wage increases. Union subscriptions have increased 2.1%
·     for permanent firefighters, from $21.60 to $22.06 per fortnight; and
·     for retained firefighters, from $4.33 to $4.42 per fortnight.
Members are again reminded that your Union dues are recognised by the Australian Tax Office as work related expenses and therefore fully tax deductible.
Further to this the Union is now working on establishing just how much back pay permanent members are entitled to when called in to work to make up safe minimum crewing levels. The Union initially won a court case that established a minimum of four hours pay in these circumstances during 2006. The Department appealed against this decision and lost the appeal in 2007, then appealed again in 2008 and lost a second and final appeal.
In handing down its decision on the second appeal the court established a series of prerequisite conditions that must be satisfied in order that members can be entitled to the minimum four hour payment. The Union has now arranged a meeting with the Department for Wednesday 15th October. Hopefully this will avoid further needlessly expensive legal disputes and instead see the money put into funding and resourcing front line fire services.
Members who are interested in reading the judgement in case number 246 of 2008 – the second and final appeal against members entitlements can find that decision on the internet
http://caselaw.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/search.html
Simon Flynn
State Secretary

Following settlement of the Union’s wage campaign the Department has now commenced paying the new 2008 Awards’ rates of pay and allowances on and from Friday 26 September, so the increased rates should first appear in all members’ pays today, Thursday 9 October. The Department has also advised the Union that it will be making a one off lump sum payment for the 16 weeks of back-pay between Friday 20 June 2008 and Thursday 25 September on Thursday 23 October (ie, next pay day). [Read more]

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September 25, 2008

New Awards are now in force for both Permanent and Retained firefighters throughout NSW. Both new Awards have delivered increases of 4.6%, 4% and 4%, will run for three years, and have been awarded by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) through a ‘Work Value’ case.

[Read more]

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May 27, 2008


Cutting wages, privatising essential services and picking fights with the Trade Union movement isn’t the sort of behavior most people associate with a ‘Labour’ Government but that’s exactly what the people of NSW are now up against. The State Government has clearly signaled its intention to pull on the Trade Union movement while it is nearly three years out from an election and any measure of accountability.
With rent, food, petrol and most other costs now sharply increasing the Union has been working hard to negotiate a wage increase that can be taken back to a series of general meetings for the Unions membership to consider. The Union has been arguing that our job has been impacted by increasing inflation, increased risks and increased complexity. That we deserve no less than the highest wages in the country, those paid to firefighters in Canberra – we all do the same job we all carry the same risks.
For its part the Government has been sticking to its line that inflation is running at just 2.5% per year and that it is not prepared to offer any more effectively cutting our wages by more than 1.5% each year. Figures from the NSW treasury show that the state budget is on track to deliver a surplus of close to $1Billion after the state economy grew by 4.5% last year
up from a $376Million estimate at budget time last year.
The FBEU was one of the first NSW Union’s to run up against the current Government policy and its belligerence in refusing to move past the dogma of inflation running at 2.5%. While firefighters were paid an interim 2.5% increase we managed to avoid the refusal to back date rises. It is only now that nurses, public servants and hospital staff are all fast approaching the Government inspired crisis in public sector wages that the entire public sector Trade Union movement is moving into direct conflict with a Government on the nose.
On Friday May 16th the Union Secretary met with the Commissioner and put forward a fully costed proposal that could become the basis for settlement of our wage claim prior to arbitration. That proposal was based on a three year award paying 2.5%, 5% and 5%. The clear indication coming out of that meeting was that agreement was close and the need for arbitration could be avoided.
The following Thursday with both parties again in conciliation the Department dropped its bomb shell informing the Union that even if all aspects of the 2.5%, 5% and 5% deal were fully funded and signed off – it will still be insisting on arbitration. In short it wants our Award gutted and entitlements we have held for decades purged entirely from our Award.
The Unions State Committee of Management will now be meeting from 10 am Wednesday 28th May to develop a strategic and tactical plan in what looks almost certainly like one of the biggest scraps our Union has been involved in for decades. All of the Union’s industrial staff will be working like demons for the next two weeks putting together the final elements of evidence for our Work Value case. Members are asked to hold off on all but the most urgent matters so that the Union can focus on putting together our court case.
Simon Flynn
State Secretary
Cutting wages, privatising essential services and picking fights with the Trade Union movement isn’t the sort of behavior most people associate with a ‘Labour’ Government but that’s exactly what the people of NSW are now up against. The State Government has clearly signaled its intention to pull on the Trade Union movement while it is nearly three years out from an election and any measure of accountability. [Read more]
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March 20, 2008

Most members would be now be aware that the Union has lodged a claim for increases in wages based on the decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commissions decision in Canberra based on a ‘Work Value’ wage case handed down in March 2006. [Read more]

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February 29, 2008

The following tables compare the previous rates of pay and allowances with the IRC’s order for a 2.5% increase for permanent members which came into effect today under a new 6 month Interim Award. In accordance with the Union’s registered rules, Union dues also increased by 2.5% today, rising by 26 cents for permanent members from $10.54 to $10.80, and by 5 cents for retained members from $2.11 to $2.16 per week.

[Read more]

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February 21, 2008

At 10:30 am on Monday morning the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) terminated conciliation between the FBEU and the Government and issued Orders that an interim Award be established for permanent firefighters with a 2.5% increase in wages and a six month term. Further to this the IRC has referred our wage claim to arbitration by a full bench of Judges and Commissioners of the IRC with our next full Award set to expire on February 23rd 2011. [Read more]

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