The Union is currently in dispute over the Department’s last minute move to require that new recruits acquire First Aid and Medium Rigid driving qualifications prior to commencing at the Training College. The new requirement is pure outsourcing with obvious implications for the job security of Recruit Instructors, shows scant regard for EEO and reveals breathtaking hypocrisy in light of their historical approach to maintaining First Aid qualifications (see below). On Tuesday, both sides undertook a formal mediation session under guidance of retired Judge Jim Macken. Unfortunately, any chance of constructive progress was impeded by the Department’s disingenuous approach to the concept of mediation and as a result it proved to be a waste of everyone’s time and the Department’s money. The Department has subsequently delayed the recruitment campaign. If the Department continues on its current path the matter is certain to escalate into industrial action.
Pre Incident Planning
The Union has received enquiries about whether the new Pre-Incident Plans (PIP) are to be completed by members. The Union previously approved a PIP in a basic format but since then the new version of the PIP form has been vastly expanded. Because the Department again failed to consult the Union and because every new or varied work practice requires the Department to formally acknowledge it as a productivity gain the Union now advises all members that the new PIP forms are banned. Members are again reminded of the necessity to comply with this and any other instruction regarding new work. After all, new and varied work practices are precisely what the Department demands from you in arguing the quantity of your pay rise. If you are already doing it, then we get nothing for it come award time.
First Aid Accreditation
FBEU Organisers have recently conducted an informal audit of the number of members holding current First Aid certificates. The audit demonstrated that First Aid re-certification has dramatically fallen over the last few years due to a stunning dereliction of responsibility by the Department. The Union has demanded that the matter receive the Department’s complete attention and they have now undertaken in writing to commence the process of re-certifying all permanent and retained members immediately.
MAA’s and Boundary Variations
The process of reviewing Mutual Aid Agreements (MAA) with the RFS very much requires the involvement of local stations. The FBEU has an agreement with the Department where any stations that are affected by any proposal to vary the Fire District boundaries MUST be consulted before any MAA is approved. Following numerous failures to consult local crews the Union will now ban any MAA that emerges from what the FBEU views as a process of inadequate consultation.