3 May 2004
Mr. Chris Read
NSW Fire Brigade Employees’ Union
267 Sussex Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Dear Mr Read,
I am writing in response to your letter dated 30 April 2004, regarding a proposed interim 4% pay increase pending the arbitration of both the Permanent and Retained Firefighter Awards, and subsequent proceedings at the Industrial Relations Commission today before Mr Deputy President Grayson (IRC Matter No. 2602 of 2004).
You would be aware that your proposal, as outlined, may impact on other claims currently before the Industrial Relations Commission, and have public sector-wide ramifications. For this reason, the Public Employment Office, as the “employer” for industrial purposes, must be involved in any discussions of your proposal.
I note the suggestions made by Mr Deputy President Grayson during the course of proceedings with regard to the lifting of bans and limitations by the FBEU. I am now seeking that such bans and limitations be lifted by 2400 hours today to enable discussions on the matters to re-commence.
Greg Mullins AFSM
Union to Department, Tuesday 4 May
4 May 2004
Mr. Greg Mullins
New South Wales Fire Brigades
PO Box A249
Sydney South NSW 1232
I write in response to your letter of late yesterday afternoon regarding the proceedings that day before the Industrial Relations Commission.
You will be aware that the Commission as constituted viewed the Department’s threat of 28 April to withdraw its previous offer and to terminate future negotiations as not only unhelpful, but also against the spirit of the Act.
The Commission ultimately went on to make two suggestions to the effect that the Union should take steps to remove its bans, and that the employer should seriously consider the Union’s proposal for a 4% interim wage increase (without prejudice to the position of either party in the Special Case).
The Union’s proposal is simple, logical and above all fair. It follows that the Union cannot give effect to that first suggestion when the best the employer can offer is to “re-commence discussions” in response to the second.
In noting your advice regarding the “employer” for industrial purposes I confirm that the Union will reconsider its position with regard to the bans immediately upon receipt of the Public Employment Office’s confirmation of its position with regard to the Union’s proposal and/or the Commission’s second suggestion.