Members would be aware that it has long been the practice within the Brigades for firefighting staff to make payment for local exchange telephone calls, as prescribed in Standing Orders and particularly, In Orders 1974/16.
This situation is completely at odds with the situation throughout the wider public sector and for that matter, the private sector as well. The Union approached the Deputy Commissioner on this subject several months ago, arguing that this antiquated practice should be abolished on the grounds that it is both discriminatory and demeaning to staff. Each month Station Commanders are forced to present themselves to bank tellers armed with jam jars filled with twenty cent pieces in order to satisfy the demands of a penny-pinching and hypocritical Department.
Do senior operational staff pay? NO. Do administrative staff pay? NO. Does anybody within the Department fill out telephone books, besides firefighting staff? NO. Does anybody know of anybody else in 1995 who has to pay for local exchange calls from their workplace? NO.
The Union’s State Committee of Management considered this question at it’s July meeting and adopted the following resolution as Union policy;
“That no member shall contribute to Departmental local telephone expenses, being consistent with existing practice within Departmental administration, senior operational management and the wider public sector. Further, no member shall contribute to Departmental long distance telephone expenses where such expenses involve access to the Union.”
Accordingly, effective immediately no member shall make any payment towards Departmental telephone accounts. The practice of maintaining telephone books is to cease forthwith.