SITREP No. 22/2009

November 27, 2009

E5xXv Inside this issue:

  • 2009 AGM results
  • Notice of Union rule change
  • PSTP qualifications update
  • Retained members’ progression
  • Walk against Warming

This week’s AGM results


The draft minutes of this week’s Annual General Meeting are attached – 2009 AGM draft minutes. Members will note that all of the questions on the agenda were adopted.


Notice of Rule amendments


Members are advised pursuant to Rule 47 that the State Committee of Management has resolved to adopt the following Rule amendments, the effect of which is to ensure that FBEU elected officials can only be removed under the FBEU’s Rules and not due to the actions or under the rules of another organisation.



a) Sub-rule 29(1), which presently reads


(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rules 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28, if the Industrial Registrar consents under section 429 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1991 elections in the NSW Branch shall be treated as elections in the Union in accordance with Rules 29(2), (3), (4), (5) and (6).

will be amended to instead read


(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rules 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28, if the Industrial Registrar consents under section 429 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1991 elections in the NSW Branch shall be treated as elections in the Union in accordance with Rules 29(2), (3) and (4).



b) sub-rule 29(4), which presently reads


(4) A person who, for any reason, ceases to hold any one of the offices in the NSW Branch referred to in this Rule shall forthwith cease to hold the corresponding office in the Union.

Will be deleted and the remaining subclauses re-numbered accordingly.



If the State Secretary receives a written request by 23 December 2009 for a plebiscite upon the decision of the State Committee of Management signed by at least one fortieth of the financial members of the Union, then the Returning Officer shall as soon as practicable conduct a plebiscite to whether or not the financial members of the Union approve of the decision of the State Committee of Management.


If the State Secretary does not receive a request by that date then the amendments which the State Committee of Management resolved to be made shall, subject to the provisions of the Act and the Regulations, come into operation on 23 December 2009.



Department attacks your qualifications – update 3


Full Bench hearings regarding the awarding of Certificate III continued this week with the Department acknowledging that completion of Certificate III may be possible in less than 36 months, but still not willing to accept that Certificate III could or should be awarded before attaining the rank of Qualified Firefighter.


The Union and Department agreed to introduce PSTP in 2005 on the understanding that NSW firefighters would be the highest skilled and qualified firefighters nationally. The Award was duly varied to replace the old reference to Certificate II with Certificate III, and the Department proceeded to deliver Cert III qualifications to Recruits until early 2007 when it then stopped doing so without warning – and, we say, in clear breach of the Award.


The Full Bench appears to have satisfied itself that Cert III cannot be delivered to Recruits, and that the existing Award subclause 13.3 therefore requires amendment to remove the current reference to that qualification. However, the Full Bench also appears to have rejected the Departments argument that a full 36 months service is now required before Cert III can be awarded. The end result of this dispute may well be that the requirement for progression to QF rank will change from the current minimum 36 months service to a new minimum of 24 months service and the completion of Cert III. The matter is expected to conclude at a further and final IRC hearing scheduled for 8 December.


For ranks of Leading Firefighter and above, the AGM this week confirmed that whilst the Department is no longer committed to having nationally recognised qualifications, the Union is. More to follow.


Retained members’ progression


Progression from one retained level to the next is aligned with periods of service, and nothing more.  Each progression should occur automatically on each member’s anniversary of employment. The Department is now wanting to introduce a two-speed process whereby an individual progression to the next retainer level will be dependant not only on time served, but also on their training record as assessed and determined by their Zone Commander. This is not agreed.


Any member not progressed on their anniversary date should contact the Union immediately.


Walk Against Warming – Martin Place, Saturday 12 December,1300hrs


Walk Against Warming is Australia’s biggest community day of action on climate change. In December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a global agreement on tackling climate change and in many ways decide the future of the planet. Extreme weather conditions will inevitably cause new natural disasters, raising new challenges for us both as firefighters and as Union members. To show our political leaders that Australians are deeply concerned about global warming and want strong and swift action to reduce emissions, a global day of action has been called for 12 December.


By walking against warming you are calling for:

Strong and urgent action to ensure a safe climate for future generations – world leaders must ensure the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are reduced to less than 350 parts per million

A global deal that is fair between countries and delivers the policies necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change

For more information and to register for the walk, visit

Jim Casey

State Secretary



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