Decisions of the Union’s 1999 Annual General Meeting

December 10, 1999


“That the apologies as reported by received and accepted.”

Adoption of 1998 AGM Minutes:

“That the minutes of the 1998 Annual General Meeting of the Union as read and presented here be received and adopted as a true and correct record of that meeting.”

State Secretary’s Annual Report:

“That the State Secretary’s annual report be received.”

No Confidence in Commissioner:

“That this meeting of members condemns the Fire Brigades Commissioner, Ian MacDougall, for his open deceit in agreeing to the Union’s demands for immediate Award negotiations last Thursday and shortly thereafter refusing to honour that agreement. As a result of this and his continued refusal to meet the 1997 Award’s joint commitment to develop a new superannuation scheme for firefighters, the members at this meeting no longer have any confidence in the Commissioner’s ability to represent the Fire Brigades, nor to negotiate in good faith, nor to play any role in this dispute other than to act as the Carr Government’s mouthpiece by trivialising and demeaning his own firefighters, and this meeting therefore calls upon him to resign.”


Demand for Award Negotiations and Authorisation for Continued Stop Work Action:

“That this meeting of members rejects the Carr Government’s demand that our 4 month-old death and disability bans be lifted in order for Award negotiations to commence as nothing more than an attempt by the employer to force firefighters to abandon our claim for fair, just and equitable death and disability benefits for all firefighters, irrespective of when they joined the Fire Brigades. The members at this meeting therefore reaffirm our demand for the immediate commencement of Award negotiations without any preconditions from the employer, and authorise our Union’s elected officials to call further stop work action across other Platoons for so long as the Carr Government continues to refuse to commence those negotiations.”


D&D Dispute – Application of Union bans over Xmas/New Year period:
“That the Union’s relieving bans (only) be relaxed for the period commencing 1800 hours on Friday 24th December 1999 and concluding 0800 hours on Sunday  2nd January 2000, provided that relieving members shall only be able to be moved over this period if there are no off-duty members available to perform recalls and further, that any relieving member who has been moved over this period as a result of this decision is to return to and remain at their base station by 0800 hours, 2/1/00.”


Permanent Award – Adoption of proposed Union claim:

“That the application for a new Crown Employees’ (NSW Fire Brigades Firefighting Staff) Award, 1999, otherwise known as the permanents’ Award, which has been developed and proposed by the State Committee of Management and posted to the Union’s website since 28 October 1999, be adopted as the Union’s claim and further, that the elected officials of the State Committee of Management be authorised to negotiate and if necessary, amend that claim during the course of those negotiations provided that any such amendments so made are to be highlighted and brought to the attention of the rank and file at the General Meeting which will be held in due course to allow members to endorse the finally negotiated Award.”

Endorsement of Transfer Registers and Proposed Transfer Arbiter:

“That this meeting reaffirms its support for the continuation of the existing system for transfers of permanent members to Zones/locations outside of the GSA by way of transfer registers pursuant to Clause 28 of the Award, and does so on the basis that this system is considered to be the most fair, equitable and objective method presently available for determining members to be transferred to such locations. However, this meeting also acknowledges that the administration, operation and integrity of the system as it presently operates has on occasion been the source of friction between members and the employer, and between members and other members, and so determines its in-principle support for the introduction of an independent arbiter, agreed to between the Union and the Department, who will be responsible for the operation and integrity of each of the transfer registers, making recommendations as to the possible improvement of the system generally, and for ruling upon any appeals which might arise concerning the existing or proposed positioning of members on the said transfer registers.”


Special Duties, and Discrimination against Light Duties members:

“That the negotiations for Operational Support (otherwise known as ‘Special Duties’) positions, which are provided for under Clause 5.2.3 of both the existing the proposed Awards and which it is intended will allow for the grading and remuneration of members on a position by position job evaluation system rather than the existing rank system be either:

a) finalised, adopted and introduced; or

b) rejected outright

at a Special General Meeting of members to be held within three months of the making of the permanent members’ Award.

In resolving this way, this meeting recognises that this proposal cannot be properly considered, and therefore finalised, prior to the finalisation of the death and disability dispute given the uncertainty over the future of ‘light duties’ positions as a consequence of that dispute. However, in the event that the Operational Support classification system is rejected then a further Special General Meeting of members is to be convened as soon as practicable following that rejection in order to consider and adopt an alternative proposal for the remuneration of members in specialist areas on the existing rank plus allowance basis.

Further and finally, that the long-unresolved question of discrimination by  the employer against permanent light duties members by:

  1. I. denying all of those members access to further progression and promotion through the rank structure; and
  2. II. denying many of those members the right to apply for and hold substantive, as opposed to supernumerary positions;

is to be pursued and resolved by the Union administration as a matter of priority.”


Salary Sacrifice for Motor Vehicles, Computers, etc:

“That the correspondence received from various members over the preceding year seeking the extension to our membership of salary sacrifice arrangements for motor vehicles and computers (etc.) which are now operating elsewhere amongst the NSW public sector workforce be  received and noted, and that the State Committee of Management be charged with first investigating this matter and conferring with other public sector unions prior to reporting back to a subsequent General Meeting of members.”


Honoraria – President:

“That in accordance with Rule 18(7), this meeting endorses the payment of the President’s annual honorarium of $7400 for the 12 month period from the 1998 AGM, as adjusted by 3% firefighter wage movements over that time.”


Honoraria – Returning Officer:

“That in accordance with Rule 22(7), this meeting endorses the payment of the Returning Officer’s annual honorarium of $276 for the 12 month period from the 1998 AGM, as adjusted by 3% firefighter wage movements over that time.”


Appointment of Returning Officer:

“That in accordance with Rule 22(1), this meeting re-appoints Comrade D. Honan as Returning Officer for the ensuing 12 months through until the Union’s 2000 Annual General Meeting.”


Non-Payment for Stop Work Meeting:

“That all permanent members who were on duty/at work on Monday  6 December should indicate their attendance at the two hour stop work meeting held between 1300 and 1500 hours that day on their timesheets.”


Chris Read

State Secretary