Correspondence: LF Promotions
March 15, 2000
1. Department to Union
15 March 2000
Mr Chris Read
NSW Fire Brigade Employees’ Union
267 Sussex Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Dear Mr Read,
Re: Promotion of Leading Firefighters.
I refer to the Union’s circular dated 10 March 2000 entitled “Leading Firefighter Promotions”.
In order that there be no further misunderstanding in respect to promotion of Leading Firefighters to Station Officers, the Department’s understanding of the agreement reached with the Union is as follows:
1. That the Union agrees to introduction of a Station Officers’ Promotion Program (SOPP) along similar lines to the existing IPP. The Department will annually determine the number of Station Officers required, which in turn will determine numbers to be included in the SOPP.
2. That the syllabus will be presented to the Curriculum Advisory Committee for discussion in accordance with established practice.
3. That Leading Firefighters who passed “post” examinations in the 1996 Station Officer Exams will be promoted in order from the existing merit list, prior to graduates of the new SOPP.
4. That once the SOPP syllabus has been approved, the Department may develop a short “bridging” course for (1996) Leading Firefighters which will cover areas of the SOPP not covered by the 1996 syllabus. The course will not include assessments.
5. That the Union agrees to the immediate lifting of all bans, restrictions and limitations on acting up of Leading Firefighters. These include restrictions such as relief at base stations only during the first 12 months occupying the rank of Leading Firefighter, and restrictions on the number and length of higher duties reliefs that can be performed.
6. The lifting of the restrictions and bans is based on an understanding by the parties that the acting up of Leading Firefighters will not be used as a substitute for the necessary component of relieving Station Officers, established as per an agreed formula.
Please indicate as soon as possible in writing your agreement to all of the above, so as to enable promotion of 15 Leading Firefighters on Friday 17 March.
I D Mac Dougall AC AFSM
2. Union to Department
15 March 2000
Mr. Ian MacDougall
New South Wales Fire Brigades
PO BOX A249
SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1232
Re: Promotion of Leading Firefighters
I write in response to your correspondence of today’s date concerning the promotion of Leading Firefighters.
I think it fair to say that there is a good deal of understanding between the parties on this issue which is reflected in the six points advanced in your correspondence today. There obviously needs to be further work carried out on matters of detail such as the content of the SOPP and the formula proposed to govern the established number of Station Officer positions. Still, as a gesture of goodwill the Union is prepared to convey our in-principle agreement to all points, bar point 5.
With regard to point no. 5, I regret to advise that neither I nor indeed the State Committee of Management are presently able to authorise the lifting of any of the current restrictions on acting-up. This is because that decision was made in June last year by a Special General Meeting of the Union’s members which, under our Union’s rules, takes precedence over all other Union decision making processes (and officials). To compound this difficulty, it is also the case that our rules require 28 days’ notice for the rescission of any General Meeting decision.
Notwithstanding our inability to immediately lift our Union’s acting-up restrictions, the President and I have agreed to undertake to recommend to both the State Committee and a General Meeting that these restrictions should be removed. Whilst I cannot offer iron-clad guarantees on the prospective decisions of the Union’s membership, I nonetheless anticipate that the restrictions relating to the acting-up of Leading Firefighters will now be removed by no later than mid-May.