SRAFS dispute

November 12, 2002

Instruction to all FBEU members, State Rail Authority Fire Service

I refer to the direction from State Rail management that SRAFS “staff are not to be exposed to situations and conditions where they are required to wear such protective equipment” and further, that “all Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment is to be removed from all appliances”.

This direction, which was issued without any consultation with your Union, is at best provocative – if not altogether brainless. Needless to say, State Rail has once again managed to bring industrial relations in the firefighting industry to the brink.

If SRAFS members cannot, for whatever reason, perform their full range of operational duties then the Union’s NSWFB members are placed at unnecessary and unacceptable risk. A suitable instruction will therefore be issued to all NSWFB members by 1800 hrs today in the event that the problems given rise to by State Rail’s instruction have not been satisfactorily resolved by that time.

In the interim, members are hereby instructed to ignore the disputed directions from SRA management and to continue to respond and operate as normal. It follows that any protective clothing or equipment which has been removed is to be returned to service immediately, save of course for any item which is found to be unserviceable.

This instruction shall remain in force until further notice.

Update – State Rail Authority Fire Service

Further to the Union notice issued earlier today, the dispute which erupted when SRA management effectively barred our SRAFS members from emergency response was resolved late this afternoon.

Negotiations during the course of today satisfactorily concluded only when SRA management agreed to issue a statement accepting that “the status quo in terms of wearing the specific Personal Protective Equipment requested when attending incidents at Stations in the Underground Rail Network is to remain the same” and further, that SRAFS members “are to continue to respond to incidents at Stations in the Underground Network as normal”.

Therefore, the need to issue suitable instructions to our NSWFB members has, for the time being at least, been avoided. The instruction issued to SRAFS members this morning remains in place.

Stay United!

Chris Read
State Secretary



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