Members would be aware that the arbitration of the D&D Dispute by a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission is now only two months off. Both parties were to have filed supporting evidence by Friday, 1 March.
Forgetting D&D for the minute, there remains a huge number of other important issues currently before the Union. Indeed it would be fair to say that we now have as many (if not more) complex issues than ever to deal with. However, the Union’s limited resources mean that we are currently finding it increasingly difficult to deal with all of these matters whilst engaged in the massive workload brought about by preparation for the arbitration case.
It’s a fact of life that no matter how hard we try, people can only do so much – the 7 full time staff employed by your Union being no exception. When you compare only 7 staff here to the hundreds in NSWFB management and the wider NSW Govt. who are lined up against us then I’d hope you’d agree that your Union’s staffers do a remarkable job representing and defending our 5,500 members.
We have requested a further three weeks to file to finalise and file our D&D evidence. The job security of over 50% of our permanent members and all of our retained members relies on us “getting it right”. Therefore, priority must go to the thousands of members most affected. Yes, your many other concerns remain important also, but none of them are anywhere near as critical to the future security of our members as D&D.
Our workload, and the accompanying phone calls, faxes and email being received each day is preventing us dedicating our most complete attention to the evidence now required. The Union office will therefore be locked down for the coming 2-3 weeks to all but the very most urgent issues.
Please, unless it is critical then we ask that members hang onto any issues you might have for the next fortnight – or to contact your State Committee official – so as to give the Union’s staff the chance to present the best possible case for you in this crucial arbitration. The assistance of all members in this regard is both necessary, and appreciated.