June 1999 SGM meeting results

June 11, 1999

Members in Attendance

Country Sub-Branch – 94
Newcastle Sub-Branch – 103
Illawarra Sub-Branch – 107
Sydney Day Section – 521
Sydney Night Section – 214
TOTAL = 1039

Death and Disability Dispute – Industrial Action

1034 For,
3 Against,
2 Abstentions

1. That the Union’s officials are directed to ensure that in all negotiations for the development of a firefighter death and disability scheme, the firm and non-negotiable pre-requisite for any continuation of discussions on the issue is to be the employers’ acceptance of the principles of equity (ie universal coverage of all members) and no disadvantage to any member, or section of members, in the development of such a scheme.

2. Should agreement for an equitable, no-disadvantage death and disability scheme for firefighters not be reached by July 31 1999, then all members not covered by the original State Superannuation Fund (SSF) shall from that date onwards refuse to:
a) staff any fire appliance,
b) leave their station, and/or
c) undertake any other duties, including training, which could expose them to the risk of injury.

Once commenced, this industrial action shall continue until agreement has been reached for a new death and disability scheme which is consistent with the principles set out in point 1, above. To this end, further Special General Meetings of members shall be held in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong every subsequent Friday, commencing August 6 at 1000 hours and such meetings shall continue until such time as either agreement has been reached, or the rank and file membership determines to remove or otherwise vary our industrial action.


Drug and Alcohol Protocol Variations

1029 For,
10 Against

That this Special General Meeting of members endorses variations to the Joint Drug and Alcohol Protocol to allow:
a) the Protocol’s scope to be expanded to include situations where members may be travelling to and from work in uniform and/or in a Fire Brigades’ vehicle;
b) the expansion of the joint Alcohol and Drug Safety and Rehabilitation Committee (ADSARC) to include an agreed independent chairperson with a casting vote, and
c) the third Union representative on the joint Alcohol and Drug Safety and Rehabilitation Committee to be a rank and file member who shall be elected annually by the membership from the floor of the Union’s AGM.


Retained to Permanent Employment within a Fire District

996 For,
41 Against,
2 Abstentions

That permanent firefighter vacancies which cannot be filled from within the existing permanent Brigade as a result of either:
(1) the absence of any permanent member on the transfer register for the station in question; or
(2) the decision of each of the permanent members on the transfer register for the station in question to decline the transfer;
should then be made available to all permanent firefighters through the Brigades’ In Orders. Where the number of applicants in these circumstances exceed the number of advertised vacancies, a ballot shall be used to determine the successful applicant(s). Permanent firefighter positions which remain vacant at the conclusion of this process should immediately thereafter be filled through the recruitment of retained members attached to Brigades within the Fire District in which the vacancy exists. Provided that retained members applying for any such permanent firefighting vacancies are to be required to fulfil the same physical and medical requirements as any other person seeking employment as a permanent firefighter with the NSWFB.


Endorsement of Acting-Up Bans

1034 For,
5 Against

That this Special General Meeting of the Union endorses the previous decision of the State Committee of Management to ban all acting-up of Leading Firefighters to Station Officer rank.


Removal of BG174 Oxygen Breathing Apparatus

1007 For
26 Against
6 Abstentions

That this Special General Meeting of the Union endorses the State Committee of Management’s recommendation that the Department’s proposal to remove existing O2BA sets be agreed to. This endorsement contemplates the inability of the current BG174 sets to meet the relevant standards and the consequent failure to meet OH&S requirements, but is contingent on the following issues being fully addressed by the Department to the satisfaction of the State Committee of Management:
(1) that all members shall receive adequate training in the use of Long Duration Air (LDA) and the safe working practices relevant to its use;
(2) that all relieving staff receive similar training;
(3) that the Department agree that all members currently in receipt of the allowance for being qualified to operate O2BA retain that allowance for the duration of their employment in the NSWFB;
(4) that all members are made fully aware of the limitations of LDA when compared to O2BA and the inability of LDA to sustain life in situations of entrapment;
(5) that at all times where members are deployed using LDA that an equal number of members shall be present to act solely as a rescue team and not be utilised for any other purpose.