SITREP No. 9/2009

August 28, 2009

Alarm ClockIn this issue:

  • What happens after 16 hours?
  • Whoops!  It doesnʼt fit…
  • Oops!  They did it again…

What happens after 16 hours?

This week the Union discovered that some members in Newcastle are standing by longer than two hours after a night shift while waiting for an outduty, travelling from Sydney, to relieve them.  Our Award is very clear on this: members can’t be made to work more than 16 hours consecutively unless there is an emergency.  Waiting for a reliever does not constitute an emergency.  Members are advised to stand down after their 16 hours, even if it means the station goes offline temporarily.

Whoops!  It doesnʼt fit…

Believe it or not someone forgot to measure the new “Type 1” tankers before the multimillion-dollar order was placed.  What’s so bizarre about that?  The union has been advised that in some instances, the tankers wont fit in the stations to which they have been designated.  The Department is frantically looking at urgent renovations or to relocate some tankers.

Oops!  They did it again…

This same scenario happened a decade ago with the introduction of the “Type 2” pumpers.  One would have thought history would have prompted a bit of initiative to purchase a ten dollar measuring tape this time around.

While this does have its funny side, but it also has a serious impact on stations and their ability to maintain sufficient fire protection. In addition it will have detrimental effects on our next Award negotiations – renovating stations; relocating tankers; and duplicating motor driving will undoubtedly come out of the already limited budget that we have to negotiate our next Award. The Union will be monitoring the outcome of this situation very closely.



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