Relations between the Union and the Department have again hit rock-bottom, this time due to management’s head in the sand approach to an ever-growing number of disputes. The Union could list these disputes and trounce them once again in the Industrial Relations Commission, just as we did over the ridiculous Clause 29 dispute (see the Union notice dated 9 April 2003). But the fact is that we shouldn’t have to.
The Department’s continued refusal to meet Clause 16 entitlements for members sitting the SOPP and IPP Pre-Entry Tests (our notice of 1 May refers), to consider off-duty attendance for promotional interviews as work which should be paid for, or to honour our members’ clear entitlements to Clause 26 breakfast allowances are all examples of this new-found “we’re not going to pay unless we’re forced to” approach.
The Department has also today listed its own dispute in the IRC against the Union over a dispute at No. 1 Station. By doing so they’ve not only trashed the meeting which was scheduled to be held between the parties on Monday, they’ve also breached the Award’s Dispute Avoidance Procedures. And this comes hot on the heals of another damning decision against the Department in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) only a fortnight ago. In that case (which cost the member and your Union over $100K), the ADT slammed the Department for directly discriminating against a member on alternative duties. Far from seeing the error of their ways, the Department (fearful of the cost implications for the scores of other light duties members who they have also discriminated against) is now threatening to appeal the decision. So much for EEO!
We don’t know what’s driving these neanderthal tactics from your employer, and frankly we don’t care. Our patience is exhausted, and the following bans are to be implemented from 1800 hours today, Thursday 22 May 2003. These bans are to remain in place until notified otherwise by a further Union notice:
No member is to perform any relieving, stand-bys or out-duties. Members are to return to and remain at their base station, save for:
a) any members who are already relieving out of the GSA, who may remain at their present location; and
b) members holding or acting in Operational Support positions, who are to remain in those positions and are not return to operational duties to fill casual vacancies.
Members are not to change platoons to fill known or unknown absences, and members who act as ‘Z’ relievers are to remain at their base station on the platoon they are currently working.
Members to transport own gear: LSV’s (ie District Trucks) must not transport a firefighter’s gear at the completion of a recall. Members on recall are to transport their gear to AND from the recall station to their base station, which therefore entitles them to claim return kilometres for each and every recall performed.
No paperwork or charges: No member is to complete any occurrence books, fire reports, fire permits, station registers or false alarm charge sheets. However, all other paperwork/administrative duties are to continue to be carried out. Members are not to levy any charges concerning AFA calls or Hazmat incidents.