FBEU bi-annual conference

February 16, 2006

Earlier this month a conference was held to trial delegate training and to discuss the future of the Union and its delegate structures. Members of the State Committee, sub branch executive committees and a number of delegates were involved in a very useful dialogue on the challenges facing the Union. The very real dangers of the Howard Government’s ‘Work Choices’ legislation were actively discussed by the participants, particularly the impact of the legislation on NSW firefighters and their families. Speakers from the ACTU, the United Firefighters Union and APHEDA Union Aid Abroad provided the conference with a national and international perspective on trade unionism and ways in which the Union can continue operating in this increasingly harsh environment.

The conference ended with a broad discussion on the future of the FBEU and how the Union should evolve to ensure strength and unity. A number of ideas were raised but the overall message was that the delegate structure needs reviewing and that delegates want to become more active in their stations. A discussion paper is now being developed which will summarise the discussions at the conference and, it is expected, lead to an enhanced delegate system.

Craig Harris

State Secretary



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