All members are advised that the minimum staffing for No. 4 Stn Darlinghurst is to be maintained at Station Officer & five (5) firefighters per Platoon.
If the Department cannot maintain its fleet, it is not the Union’s problem. Further, if the Union allows the Department to actually capitalise on the absence of the ladders allocated to your station, there will be no incentive for the Department to maintain its fleet. That is to say, the Department actually profits from the absence of appliances if it is allowed to use the “spare” firefighters to fill vacancies – and therefore cut out overtime – elsewhere.
The same applies if the Department is not required to maintain S/O and 5 due to sick leave, consolidated leave, etc. In this regard I refer specifically to ZC South 1’s memorandum dated April 7 1999, which suggests that staffing can drop below S/O and 5 in these circumstances. This is not correct. Our Union recently struck an agreement to maintain full staffing at No. 11 Station whenever 11’s ladders were absent (a water tanker was placed there) and we are not about to surrender the principles which underpinned that agreement. If the Dept. wants to put a temporary water tanker (or any other agreed vehicle/appliance for that matter) at No. 4 Stn, well and good. However, S/O and 5 should continue to be maintained.
Accordingly, all members are hereby instructed that effective 1800 hours today, minimum staffing at No. 4 Station Darlinghurst of S/O and 5 is to be maintained at all times.
There are to be no out-duties performed if the staffing is equal to or less than S/O and 5. Further, if the staffing at the commencement of or during a shift is below S/O and 5, the entire Station is to remain off-line until such time as recalls or out-duties arrive to bring the Station up to safe minimum staffing levels of S/O and 5. Members should approach your Station Delegate, Comrade Ian Grimwood, in the first instance if there are any questions concerning this instruction.
If the Department doesn’t like the Union’s approach, there is one very easy way to get around it: return the ladders to No. 4 Station, and keep them there!