Despite the Awards having been settled some 12 months ago the Department is now attempting to have another go by seeking a variation of Clause 13 Progression and Promotion. The employer’s variation seeks to remove the current requirement for Recruit members to leave the college with Certificate III.
Not surprisingly, the Union is resisting this cynical attempt by the Department to drive down the cost of training and de-skill FBEU members. We will strongly argue that this claim should be dismissed out of hand, that FBEU members deserve nationally recognised qualifications and that NSWFB firefighters should be the highest trained (and therefore the highest paid) firefighters in Australia, not the lowest.
Permanent members sitting the SOPP Pre-Entry Test on Tuesday 29 September 2009 are entitled to the relevant provisions of Clause 16 of the Permanent Award 2008.
Members rostered for duty on the night shift prior to the day of the exams (ie “D” Platoon’s last night) will be granted paid leave from 2200 hours to 0800 hours.
Members who are rostered off duty shall be paid at overtime rates (see clause 126.96.36.199).
Members who are on annual or long service leave will be re-credited with the appropriate leave for the time spent attending the exams (see clause 188.8.131.52).
Time spent attending the examination is time worked. The provisions of clause 9.9 (requiring an eight hour break) apply in conjunction with clause 16.11, therefore those members who are rostered for night shift on the day of the exam should stand-off until they have had an 8 hour break from the conclusion of the final exam they attend. For example, if you finish an exam at 1600 hours and are rostered to start at 1800 hours that day, you should stand-off until midnight without loss of pay. If, however, you completed the examination at (say) 1700 hours then you would stand-off until 0100 hours the next day.
If your travelling time to and from the exam venue exceeds two hours each way, or if the return distance from your residence to the venue exceeds 175kms, you are entitled to either accommodation provided by the Department, or to the accommodation allowance in clause 26.4.1. For others, meal allowances, excess fares and travelling time may also be payable in line with Clause 26 – Travelling Compensation.
SITREP 6/2009 explained the legislative requirements for the Department regarding salary sacrifice contributions. The Union has since been contacted by members who have not had contributions paid from as far back as April. The Union has taken this issue up with management, but again reminds members to check your payslips and superannuation balances on a regular basis.