July 24, 1998

Members would be aware that as part of our country staffing offer to the Department, the six remaining permanently staffed water tankers are proposed to be transferred to retained staffing. Further, 35 Stn. will drop from a minimum of S/O & 4 to S/O & 3 per platoon.

However, it is important that everyone – including the Department – understands that we will be requiring formal agreement for the whole deal before we agree that any appliance or staff can be moved. The fact is that there is no such agreement – yet.

There are many, many issues in connection with our country staffing offer which remain unresolved. These include questions surrounding the water tankers, such as:

  • When will the tankers be de-staffed?
  • Where will the tankers be relocated?
  • What will happen to the 2 surplus permanent members per platoon at each station?
  • If the tankers are kept within Sydney, will new retained firefighters be required to staff them?
  • If they are kept within Sydney, how many new retained firefighters will be required and what response protocols will apply to them?
    None of these questions have yet been answered, in fact negotiations have not even commenced. The Union remains available to negotiate these issues – the problem is we need someone to negotiate with and they don’t appear to be interested! If and when those negotiations ever commence, your Station Delegates will be kept advised and consulted.

The bottom line is that there is currently no agreement, and as a result all of the above stations should continue to maintain their existing staffing levels at all times, if necessary through the use of overtime.

Chris Read,

State Secretary Friday 24th July, 1998