2009 Annual General Meeting agenda

October 30, 2009

group meetingThe 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Union be held at the Union Office at 1-7 Belmore Street, Surry Hills on Wednesday 25 November commencing at 1000 hours. The agenda for the AGM follows.





1. Meeting Open

2. Adoption of 2008 AGM Minutes

3. Remuneration of State Committee of Management Officials

3a – Recission of current policy

 “That the standing policy concerning remuneration of State Committee of Management officials and set out here below be recsinded:

 ‘The Unions State Committee of Management Remuneration Policy is put forward to the Unions rank and file for endorsement on the basis that elected officials should not be determining how much to pay themselves but rather recommending a policy that is considered and subsequently ratified by the Unions membership.

 The clear principles of the Remuneration Policy must be that it is fair and equitable for all, that no one is forced to subsidize the union from their own pocket and that it continues to be affordable.  The policy should also have the structural integrity that will allow it to stand as a policy long after all members of the Unions committee are replaced by subsequent elected members.

Lap Top Computer -in recognition of the imperative for all members of the State Committee of Management to be in a position where by they can be readily accountable to rank and file members, station delegates, sub branch executive members and union office personnel a suitable lap top computer will be provided to all members of the committee requesting same. The provision of a lap top computer is given in order to allow committee members the capacity to carry and store correspondence to and from the unions offices. Write, circulate and catalogue minutes of sub branch meetings, collate and access union notices, research and compile motions and resolutions of the sub branch and assist in the general administrative affairs of the relevant committee member. Committee members shall be responsible for the maintenanceor loss of equipment should these cost become excessive.

Communications Allowance -each member of the State Committee of Management shall be allocated a communications allowance of $120 per month. This allowance shall be provided in order to allow all members of the committee the capacity to subscribe to an appropriate Internet Service Provider (ISP) and to sign up to a mobile telephone service provider in what ever configuration the committee member wishes. This composite rate shall be accepted as fair and appropriate compensation for committee members to carry out all business of the union on a monthly basis and committee members are responsible for the purchase and maintenance of their own phone and assorted hardware.

Honoraria -each sub branch secretary, the President and the two vice presidents shall be allocated an honorarium  annually in recognition of the expectations placed on that committee person running a democratic and effective sub branch and attending to the business of the State Committee of Management. Honoraria shall be considered fair compensation for the time spent organising sub branch executive and sub branch general meetings, travelling to and from meetings including State Committee of Management, general membership meetings, meetings of sub branches and other meetings that might reasonably be expected of a sub branch secretary, President or vice president.

 The Honoraria shall be set at $2500 pa and shall be indexed to the movement of the firefighter level one wage.

Accommodation – if an official of the union is authorised by the state secretary to carry out specific functions of office required by that role and this necessitates starting the days business at or prior to 8 am and that official is required to travel in excess of two hours 30 minutes one way, then that official shall be entitled to overnight accommodation for the evening prior. Further If an Official of the union is authorised by the state secretary to carry out the functions of office required by that role and this necessitates concluding the days business after 8pm and that official is required to travel in excess of two hours 30 minutes one way, the official shall be entitled to overnight accommodation for that evening. Travelling time is to be calculated on the most practicle mode of transport . Where accommodation is provided, it shall be single accommodation at a minimum standard of 3 stars (in the case of hotels) or 3 diamonds (motels) provided that where more than one form of accommodation is available and/or an official elects to stay elsewhere, then the Union shall meet the cost of the cheapest available 3 star/diamond accommodation only.

Transport -each member of the state committee of management shall be entitled to reimbursment of ‘reasonable travel expenses’ incurred in the performance of official duties. ‘Reasonable travel expenses’ shall be considered to be the actual cost of public transport whenever and wherever that transport is practicably available or, where public transport is not available, the relevant kilometer  rate established by the Australian Tax Office.

Airfares -where reasonably necessary and required committee members shall be flown to relevant meetings and the union shall meet the cost of all such airfares. All flights where possible shall be booked by the unions administrative staff and paid at economy class rates.

 To clarify the application of these transport provisions, where more than one form of public transport is available (eg both train and taxi, or both bus and train) the union shall meet the cost of the cheapest form of transport only regardless of the form of public transport actually used. This clarifation shall not be used in determining the application of airfares where the time spent travelling would seriously compromise the operations and finances of the union.

Lost Income -committee of management members actually foregoing income from their primary occupation (being considered to be stricly firefighting in the case of permanent firefighters) in order to carry out official duties on behalf of the union shall have such lost income reimbursed by the union, provided that supporting documentation is made available where it may be reasonably expected to be available.

 Payment of Claims –given the state secretary is the one person authorised under the unions registered rules responsible for the unions accounts the state secretary will nessesarily require sufficient time to consider and authorise all claims against union expenditure. As such the secretary is the only person with delegation under the rules to specifically scrutinse and approve all claims made by the unions elected officials and staff.

All claims in respect of this schedule shall be considered and approved or otherwise within ten working days of the claim being lodged and, if approved, paid immediately thereafter by way of cheque posted to the relevant official’s residence or direct deposit into that official’s nominated bank account. In the event that three or more State Committee officials disagree (either in whole or in part) with the State Secretary’s determination of any claim made pursuant to this policy, then it is expressly required that such disagreement is recorded in the minutes of the State Committee of Management and referred to the next General Meeting (be it Special or Annual) for determination by the Union’s members. In the interim, however, the State Secretary’s determination shall stand.


 The rates incorporated in this policy shall be indexed to movements in the rate of firefighter level 1 and allowances shall then be rounded up to the nearest 50 cent.

 The State Secretaries Clothing Allowance (previously established at $1 000 per annum) has been removed on the basis that the State Secretary is paid a salary the equivalent of Superintendent rate of pay and is suitably attired.

 The 2006 AGM resolved to replace the payment of the President’s phone and ISP costs in full with an organising allowance of $7,500 for use at the discretion of the State President in furthering the objectives of the Union.’

State Committee Recommendation: Support

3b – Adoption of new policy

“That the motion concerning remuneration of State Committee of Management Officials set out here below be adopted as standing Union policy:

‘That State Committee of Management officials who are not otherwise employed by the Union (eg, the State Secretary) shall be entitled to and paid the following annual allowances:

a)  a base allowance (flat) of $4,000 per annum in recognition of the time that State Committee officials are expected to dedicate to attending to their duties as Union officers including State Committee of Management meetings, meetings with the Department, organising for the Union and attending to member issues, etc., and in recompense for any and all expenses incurred by those officials in attending to same; and

b)  an annual meeting allowance (dependant upon each official’s place of residence) in recognition of and recompense for the cost of travel to and from the duties referred to at point (a). This will be an arbitrary rather than actual figure based on 18 return journeys between the official’s residence and the Union’s Sydney Office, which will be calculated by multiplying that return distance by 18 and then multiplying that figure by the Award’s specified journey rate (currently set at 30.7¢ per km) and rounding the result up to the next nearest whole dollar. To avoid doubt, the most direct route by car, as calculated by the website will be used to determine the return distance; and

c)  an annual organising allowance (two rates) to allow for and facilitate the visitation by officials of members’ workplaces within their respective areas of responsibility, as follows:

i)  The President and the Country and Retained Sub-Branch officials will each be paid the ‘state’ organising allowance of $3,070.00 (representing 10,000kms x the Award’s specified journey rate of 30.7¢ per km, rounded up to the next nearest whole dollar); and

ii) The Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President and Central Coast, Illawarra, Newcastle, Sydney North, Sydney North West, Sydney South, Sydney South West and Senior Officers’ Sub-Branch officials will each be paid the ‘local’ organising allowance of $1,535.00 (representing 5,000kms x the Award’s specified journey rate of 30.7¢ per km, rounded up to the next nearest whole dollar).

d)  payment of the three annual allowances set out at points (a), (b) and (c) above will be combined and then divided by 12 to arrive at a monthly allowance which will be paid to each official on the last Friday of each month;

e)  the base allowance at point (a) will be increased in line with increases in Union membership dues, rounded up to the next nearest whole dollar;

f)   this policy rescinds and replaces all previous decisions concerning State Committee officials’ allowances and entitlements and subject to point (g), is intended to meet all of the costs and expenses that State Committee officials are expected and/or required to incur in the performance of their duties, save for any wages which may be lost due to an  official’s need to take leave without pay from their primary employer in order to attend a meeting of the State Committee of Management;

g) it is expressly provided in the interests of financial and political probity that with the exception of the provision for meetings of the State Executive Committee and the State Committee of Management of meals and refreshments of the same standard as that provided to members who attend Union training courses or similar events, neither the State Secretary nor the State Committee of Management may approve any payment for or on behalf of any official outside of this policy and that any official who considers him/her self to be out of pocket as a result of this policy will be both entitled and encouraged to make a submission setting out the amount of that shortfall, and the reasons for same, to that year’s Annual General Meeting, which will in turn decide to:

i)  reimburse the official for the full amount of the claimed shortfall; or

ii) reimburse the official, but for a reduced amount; or

iii)     decline the official’s claim.

h)  Using these formulae, the current rates (as at June 2009) will be: 










































K. Smith 
























W. Smith 






























 State Committee Recommendation: Support

4. Climate Change Policy

 ‘That the FBEU recognises the threat of climate change to the planet, and the importance of immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and that the current government policy in this area not only fails to address the problem adequately, but also shifts the cost for transitioning to cleaner technology onto working class people and further, that climate change is transforming firefighting operations and as such is an industrial issue.

Accordingly, the Union:

a)  commits to an ongoing process of education and discussion around the question of climate change through all of the Union’s fora;

b)  endorses the “Climate Justice Coalition” – an umbrella group of Unions, NGO’s and faith based social change groups;

c)  commits to supporting future campaigns around the issue.’

 State Committee Recommendation: Support

5. Training, Qualifications, and Rank.

‘The FBEU recognises the shift through both the firefighting industry, and industry more generally, for remuneration and promotion to be connected to qualifications, and views with concern management’s recent attempts to deskill firefighters by divorcing rank from the attainment of qualifications.

Consequently, the Union reaffirms the position that the PSTP qualifications of Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma should be linked to specific ranks for the purpose of progression and remuneration.’

State Committee Recommendation: Support

6. President’s Honoraria

“That in accordance with Rule 18(7), this meeting endorses the payment to the President, Comrade Sullivan, of an honorarium of $2,200 for the 5 month period following his election at the Union’s triennial elections in June this year.’

State Committee Recommendation: Support

7. Appointment of Returning Officer

‘That in accordance with Rule 22(1), this meeting appoints Comrade Graeme Ottley as Returning Officer for the ensuing 12 months through until the Union’s 2010 Annual General Meeting,’

State Committee Recommendation: Support

8.  Meeting closed



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