As members would be aware, the 1997 Crown Employees (NSW Fire Brigades Fire fighting Staff) Award – otherwise know as the permanents’ Award – expired in August. That means that it’s time to negotiate a new Award, including revised conditions of employment and wage increases. This month’s Special General Meeting of members resolved to adopt a no-nonsense wage claim of 4% per annum over a new 3 year Award. In other words, we voted for a 12% wage rise.
Members would appreciate the impracticality of trying to develop a new Award claim, clause by clause, at a General Meeting. For that reason, the Union’s industrial staff and I prepared a draft Award for consideration by the Union’s State Committee, which last week held a special meeting to consider that draft. The State Committee ran through the entire Award – debating, amending and eventually voting on that draft clause by clause. Some eight hours later, the State Committee emerged with our proposal which can now be found in PDF format immediately below (ie it needs to be downloaded and viewed with “Adobe Acrobat”.)
As a democratic Union, the process doesn’t end there. We encourage members to download the State Committee’s proposal, to print it out, to consider it and to discuss it amongst your Platoon and Station. Any comments or suggestions are welcome, although it would be appreciated if they could be channelled through your Station Delegate in order to minimise the “traffic” into an already over-loaded Union office! All suggestions will be considered by the State Committee and, if adopted, incorporated into our Union’s claim. As always, however, the final say will rest with our rank and file members and a General Meeting will be called to approve, amend or reject the Award prior to ratification by the IRC.
Some of the main features of the State Committee’s proposed 1999 Award are:
12% up-front wage increases in a 3 year Award, commencing 5/11/99;
The incorporation of 10/14 rostered O/T into an all-up weekly rate of pay;
Improvement in First State Super, with up to 6% extra employer funding;
The introduction of an allowance for SRB accredited rescue members; and
The guaranteed promotion of all existing LF’s off the current merit list prior to the introduction of the new SOPP system, which is also specified.
The Dept. and Govt. will resist all of these claims tooth and nail, but your officials believe we can still win. Of course, whether or not we do win won’t be decided by the Union’s officials. It will, as always, come down to each and every member, ie YOU.