Due to the united industrial action of permanent and retained members over the last month, the Department today accepted the Union’s terms for settlement.
THE OUTCOMES OF THIS DISPUTE
the member concerned has been returned to full firefighting duties;
a new superannuation scheme for firefighters will now be developed in consultation with the Union by August 31, 1998;
the new scheme will now be based on equity (ie, it will apply to all members, SSF, SASS and FSS) and fairness (ie, there will be no reduction in any members’ existing benefits);
there will be no fitness standard or assessment of members prior to the implementation of the new superannuation scheme; &
the development stage of the new scheme will now include retained members (note: the Dept. remains opposed to the Union’s claim for retained coverage).
We defended our member, but this dispute was always essentially about a wider issue – firefighters’ superannuation. The absence of fair and just compensation for members on SASS and First State Super who can no longer work as a firefighter – for whatever reason – remains the most pressing industrial issue for the FBEU.
Whilst a new scheme will now be developed, there is no agreement that it will actually be implemented. It is quite possible that this dispute was simply the first in a series of battles to win fair protection and compensation for members. Your Union will be working, and fighting if need be, for that scheme inside 12 months.
Given the acceptance of the Union’s terms & conditions, all bans and limitations connected with this dispute are to be removed as of 1800 hours today, 26/11/97.