The Union’s continual complaints to the Department over it’s practice of issuing letters to members for alleged breaches of sick-leave “protocols” has resulted in the discontinuation of this pathetic, punitive measure.
Further, the Union has continued to question the requirement for the provision of medical certificates for each and every instance of a member’s absence due to sickness. It has long-argued that this practice is demeaning to members and counter-productive to the Department’s intentions to reduce such leave. The NZ Professional Firefighters’ Union (NZPFU) several years ago negotiated arrangements which the FBEU has now successfully negotiated for implementation within the NSWFB, whereby members are allowed up to three individual days paid sick leave without requiring a medical certificate.
As this arrangement is to operate outside the terms of the Award by agreement between the parties, it shall do so on a six month trial basis only. The initial six months shall allow members two separate days without requiring a medical certificate, which shall be reviewed at that time and extended to three days within twelve months providing a negative impact on sick-leave levels isn’t experienced. Gazetted public holidays are to be excluded, at least initially. Assuming the trial is as successful as the Union has claimed it shall be, this agreement will be extended indefinitely, and will be subject to ongoing annual joint reviews by the Union and Department.
Formal notice from the Department that these arrangements are in place is expected shortly. Any abuse of this positive arrangement will result in the Department reverting to the Award requirement for the provision of a medical certificate in each instance. The Union asks all members to respect sick leave provisions and to apply them as they are intended.