SITREP No. 19/2009

November 7, 2009

workers-compensationIn this issue:

* Alternate Duties, Workers Comp, and O/T
* SOPP 26
* Retained Availability Boards

Alternate Duties, Workers Comp and O/T

If you’re injured at work and placed on alternate duties for a period of time, you may also be entitled to be compensated for the overtime you may have worked if you had remained on full duties. Any benefit along these lines will generally be calculated according to the overtime you actually worked over the corresponding period. To qualify for this benefit, the insurer must have accepted liability for your claim, and you must be working in an alternate duties position. You may also qualify if you are able to work alternate duties, but none are available. Please contact the Union Office for further advice.


The 26th Station Officers Promotional Program starts next Monday and questions are already being asked about what will happen upon conclusion of the course – will participants be promoted or not?

In short, the industrial action of 01/10 won the same outcome for SOPP 26 as was won for SOPP 25. At the conclusion of the course there is no guarantee of promotion to SO Level 1, but the date for promotion to SO Level 2 will be two years from the date that the SOPP concludes.

This has removed the incentive for the Department to build up a pool of flexible Leading Firefighters who are qualified to act up and ensures that progression to SO Level 2 is not delayed and in fact quicker than would be the case if the Department simply pushed the SOPP start dates back a few months. The Department this week assured the IRC that next year’s SOPP graduates will all be promoted upon the conclusion of their course. The Union will of course hold the Department to account on this assurance.

Availability Boards are not a Disciplinary Tool

The Union regularly receives calls from both retained members and management about retained availability boards in stations. When the Union first agreed to the implementation of the boards, it was on the clear understanding that the boards would be used as a guide only. The situation has not changed.

Over the years we have come across some very innovative uses of the board, some which have verged on breaching members’ privacy. So how do the boards work? Retained firefighters should fill the board out as often and as accurately as possible and management must understand that retained firefighters do not work rosters and that unforeseen events may render a member unavailable at little or no notice.

The filling out of the availability board is not an obligation. It is a courtesy to your station comrades to help maintain adequate staffing levels.

Jim Casey
State Secretary