SITREP No. 3/2009
July 17, 2009
Inside this issues:
- Members’ forum relaunched
- New State Committee of Management meets
- OIC and pump operations?
- Attending training whilst not on duty
- Welcome new members
- Comrade Max Wilson
Members’ forum relaunched
The new Members’ Forum is now up and running on the Union’s website.
The Union had received a number of complaints about the old forum and it had clearly reached its use by date. A common concern was that the limitations of the forum were putting members off participating in the online debate.
In response, the layout and ‘user friendliness’ have been improved and the new format is easier to access, easier to moderate, and easier to track where the discussion is happening.
Comrade Sean Askew (38 C Platoon) donated his time, energy, and expertise on designing the forum. If you’re a regular user of the forum take the time out to thank him – he’s done a great job and it’s a timely reminder of the huge skill base the Union has out there.
Going forward, work on revamping the entire website has commenced. More news to follow.
New State Committee of Management meets
This week saw the induction and first meeting of the new State Committee of Management. In a first for the FBEU, training was provided for all officials in the basic operations of the Union. The meeting established a good base for the next three years and the State Committee has already begun working on issues raised in its first weeks of office (see below).
The State Committee also wishes to extend its thanks to the members of the previous committee for their work for the Union. Their time and dedication over what was a difficult term is appreciated.
OIC and pump operations?
At its meeting on Thursday, the State Committee considered the question of whether a firefighter should be required to act as the officer in charge of an incident at the same time as being required to perform the duties of the motor driver.
This issue presented itself when a firefighter, filling in for retained shortage, was the only qualified motor driver, but by virtue of being a permanent firefighter, was also the officer in charge.
It is impossible to perform the duties of both the officer in charge and the motor driver simultaneously. It is neither safe nor fair for members to be expected to do so.
It is the Department’s responsibility to ensure sufficient members are qualified as motor drivers, but this shall take time. In the interim, the Union shall write to the Department proposing a policy for the filling of motor driver vacancies thereby preventing members from having to perform both the role of the officer in charge and motor driver.
Attending training whilst not on-duty
This week the Union office received a query with regard to attending training when you are not rostered on-duty. Here is a brief outline of the entitlements covered by Clause 16.10.
- Where you elect to attend training whilst on AL (and have Department approval) you shall be credited with AL for the hours spent attending the course.
- Where you elect to attend training whilst on LSL (and have Department approval) you shall be credited LSL for the hours spent attending the course.
- Where you elect to attend training whilst rostered off-duty (and have Department approval) you shall be paid at overtime rates for the hours spent attending the course.
- Where you are directed to attend training whilst rostered off-duty you can choose to either:
a) be paid at overtime rates for the hours spent attending the course; or
b) be credited with consolidated leave for the hours spent attending the course.
It is important to note that members cannot be directed to attend training if they are on AL of LSL, but where they have approval from the Department can elect to do so.
Welcome to new members
This last month 82 retained firefighters joined the Union following their training at Wellington, Deniliquin, Armidale and Albion Park. All the best as you head out to your stations. We encourage all new members to find out who their station Union Delegate is. If there isn’t one at your station then consider putting your hand up for the job. For more information call the Union Office on (02) 92183444.
Comrade Max Wilson
The Union extends its condolences to the family and friends of Comrade Max Wilson, who passed on the 10th of this month and whose funeral was today.