SGM Decision and Media Comment

December 16, 1999

Decision of this week’s Special General Meeting:

“That the framework set out in the Union notice dated 13/12/99 which is proposed to progress both the death and disability dispute and negotiations for new permanent and retained firefighters’ consent Awards be endorsed.”


Country Sub-Branch ( 96 – 9 – 3 )
Newcastle Sub-Branch ( 92 – 15 – 0 )
Illawarra Sub-Branch ( 43 – 0 – 0 )
Sydney SGM, Day Section ( 131 – 24 – 0 )
Sydney SGM, Night Section ( 36 – 2 – 0 )

TOTAL = 398 for, 50 against, 3 abstentions


 Today’s Print Media

The Daily Telegraph (page 4)


THE State Government yesterday agreed to give full-time firefighters a $700 pay bonus to end industrial action by the service.
At the same time a deadline has been set to finalise negotiations on a new pay deal and resolve a dispute over death and disability benefits for the workers.
Industrial action by NSW firefighters has been suspended until the deadline.
The Fire Brigade Employees’ Union launched industrial action four months ago over the death and disability benefit issue. It wants a 12% pay rise for members.
A deadline of February 24 has been set to finalise agreement on the claim.



The Sydney Morning Herald (page 7)


The State’s 3,000 full-time firefighters have been promised a $700 bonus as pert of an agreement that brings four months of industrial action to a halt.
The State Government has agreed to pay the bonus, which will cost it over $2 million, and it has also set a deadline for the negotiation of a new pay deal and the resolution of a dispute over benefits payable when firefighters are killed or seriously injured.
The agreement was approved by mass meetings of firefighters around the State yesterday.
It ends a campaign of industrial action over death and disability benefits, including bans on relieving work which cost the NSW Fire Brigades an estimated $5 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, firefighters will get the $700 bonus in two equal parts, the first this week and the second in late February after the deadline for a new pay agreement.
In return, the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union said there would be no industrial action before the deadlines set for the negotiation of new agreements.
The FBEU president, Mr Darryl Snow, described the bonus as an interim payment and said it would not effect the union’s 12% pay claim.
The Government has agreed to put forward a counter-claim by Christmas Day and finalise a new agreement by February 24.
Mr Snow said there remained a “fair level” of mistrust among firefighters over the handling of the wages and death and disability disputes.
The deadline for the negotiations of new benefits payable when firefighters are injured or killed is March 31, reflecting the difficulty of finding a solution to the problem.
The FBEU wants those members who joined the NSW Fire Brigade after 1985 to enjoy the same benefits as those who joined before that date.
But the Government has so far been unwilling to do that, mindful of the cost and the fact that other public sector unions representing emergency workers would line up for the same deal.
A Fire Brigades spokesman was unavailable for comment yesterday.



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