Given that we’ll still have to deal with them long after the current round of disputes have been resolved, we’ve been trying to start to repair some of the bridges burnt between the Union and the Department lately – but it isn’t easy!
Last week’s “Commish’s Corner” carried the following item on LF promotions:
Rumour: What is the status with the Leading Firefighter promotions?
Response: The Department has decided to promote 140 leading firefighters who have been waiting to become Station Officers. The Department has already sent a letter to the FBEU stating the position and is now waiting a reply.
Leading Firefighters will be promoted based on merit order and as required throughout the organisation ie. Promotions, retirements, resignations, and new station openings.
I will keep you informed.
Hmmm. Well firstly I think it necessary to point out that one of the few early successes we had in our Award negotiations with the Department was reaching agreement on our proposed Clause 13 (ie the Union wrote the clause way back in October last year). It was the Union which first announced that all of the existing LF’s would be guaranteed promotion prior to anyone else over a month ago – on 2 February to be precise in our Award Update #2 notice.
We’re obviously happy with this result, and I for one am happy that the Commissioner now seems to be happy with it too. But it’s a bit late (and rich) to attempt to claim all the credit by writing “The Department has decided . . .” Come on Ian, how about “The Union and the Department have agreed….”?
Secondly, Leading Firefighter members would have good reason to be angry with their Union for not yet replying to the Department’s letter, save for the fact that:
1. It’s a week later, and we still haven’t received it; and
2. When we rang today to ask where it was so that we could reply and get the promotions going, we were told that it hasn’t actually been written!
And to think that curious LF’s contacting the Department were still being told as late as this morning that the only thing holding up 40 SO promotions was the Union! We’ve now been assured that a letter will be forwarded to our office early next week and, provided we reply, promotions will begin next Friday. We will.
Friday 10th March, 2000