D&D Dispute Update #18 – In & Out of Court

September 16, 1999

As reported in last Friday’s D&D update #17, the D&D dispute came back before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on Monday 13 September.

It came as a welcome surprise when the Government advised the IRC that it was preparing a new offer for our Union “within the next 7 days”. It was suggested that we should be given a further 7 days to consider and respond to the Government’s proposals, following which both parties should come back to the IRC to report on what progress (if any) had been made. If necessary, the IRC will recommence conciliation proceedings when we report back to Justice Walton on October 6 in an attempt to help steer a negotiated settlement to our dispute.

We wrote again to the Government yesterday, 15/9/99 (that correspondence can be found on the Union’s website) pointing out what we all know – that the logical solution to this dispute lies in the creation of a new superannuation scheme to cover all firefighters. This was in fact a commitment made by the Government under Clause 5.2.4 of the 1997 Award, and one we fully expect it to keep.

Whilst we remain available for negotiations, none are scheduled at the time of writing. It follows that the next move in this dispute rests with the Government.

All Union bans are to remain in place until advised otherwise by Union notice.

 5 Quick Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation isn’t the Answer

  • Workers’ Comp. benefits bear no relationship to a firefighter’s wages (the basic Workers’ Compensation benefit is just $272.60 p.w – and that’s before tax!)
  • Workers’ Comp. benefits can be cut off entirely after 104 weeks (2 years).
  • Workers’ Comp. is uncertain, complex, protracted and adversarial.
  • Workers’ Comp. often fails to recognise long-term, degenerative illnesses.
  • Workers’ Comp. will not cover you if you are medically retired (which in the absence of D&D cover really means you’re sacked) for any reason – off-duty OR on-duty injury, nor for any other alleged “health” or “fitness” condition.

Most members retired only on Workers’ Comp. would be forced to cancel their mortgage & sell their house. It’s a sad irony that without D&D cover, a firefighter could actually lose their own home in the process of saving someone else’s!

Chris Read, State Secretary



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