Following on from SITREP No. 4/2009 regarding entitlements for part changes of shift (PCOS) several members have asked if an outduty performed on a PCOS counts towards their annual 12 outduty limit?
Subclause 12.17.1 of the Award is clear enough: “an employee cannot be directed to perform more than twelve (12) outduties in any Calendar year”. Importantly, it does not include the words “on their own Platoon” or “except when working a Part Change of Shift”, so the answer is yes – every outduty counts, including voluntary outduties and those worked while on PCOS.
Yes, tea and coffee are still refreshments
Following on from SITREP No. 8/2009, the Union office has received some calls questioning the Union’s advice about a refreshment allowance being payable if tea and coffee and hot water is not provided. For a start firefighters have been offered tea and coffee on the fireground as a refreshment for more than 70 years. There’s nothing new about this. Secondly, the Department’s correspondence dated 10 September 2007 that led to the Union agreeing to the introduction of the refreshment packs expressly refers to tea and coffee being included amongst the “fluids” to be stored on the appliance. No, it doesn’t mention hot water, but if anyone is seriously going to argue that dry tea bags and coffee satchels constitute “fluids” then I’ll give the game away.
Retained members’ vehicle insurance
At recent retained training weekends the Department has been warning Captains and Deputy Captains that they will shortly be required to provide details of the comprehensive car insurance policies for all members of their Station.
The Union has numerous concerns about this including members’ right to privacy and a lurch towards restricted response for retained members. Further, the attempt to use Captains and Deputy Captains as some sort of local private investigators mirrors the increasing trend to co-opt Station Officers into disciplinary/managerial roles previously carried out only by senior officers.
Accordingly, Captains and Deputy Captains are instructed not to provide or request from their firefighters any information in relation to members’ insurance policies and similarly, retained firefighters are instructed not provide any such information until advised otherwise by the Union.