NEGOTIATIONS FAIL, BANS REIMPOSED FROM 2200 HRS TODAY
The bans on non-SSF members responding to calls, or otherwise exposing themselves to danger and/or risks whilst on duty have been reimposed as of 2200 hours tonight, Wednesday August 4. Accordingly, from 2200 hours onwards, safe minimum staffing levels are to be determined using SSF members only.
The State Committee agreed to lift the bans on Monday afternoon in an indication of our continued hope that a negotiated settlement could be reached. We attempted to arrange discussions with the Government first thing yesterday morning, but we were ignored. We were then stood-up for a meeting scheduled for 10am today, and again when the same meeting was rescheduled for 12pm. This sort of contempt for firefighters has been commonplace throughout the last week, yet we still held hope that progress could be made this afternoon.
We then came to the IRC at 2pm expecting to enter into further conciliation only to be told that the Government wasn’t ready to talk. We did however manage to squeeze an hour or so of informal discussions out of them. If anything, those discussions only took us backwards. The Government even tabled a document which claimed we face risks only 3.9% of the time, not only suggesting that we have no claim to equity in D&D benefits, but also that we do little or no “real” work! The Carr Government is continuing to firmly hold the unacceptable position that it held on Saturday – the same position which led to Sunday’s industrial action and protest march. Sadly, nothing has changed.
It appears that the Government thinks that firefighters had their best shot on Sunday, and that we’d somehow “gone soft” now. They couldn’t be more mistaken. The State Committee of Management unanimously determined to reimpose this industrial action and it will remain firmly in place until at least this Friday’s Special General Meeting, which all members are urged to attend:
THIS FRIDAY, August 6
Lower Town Hall
George Street, Sydney
(Please note the change of venue, and that the meeting is in one section only)