SITREP No. 35/2010

September 2, 2010

Inside this issue:

  • Country Inspector vacancies dispute update – bans lifted
  • Recruit training win update
  • Diversity – and Unity – in the NSWFB

Country Inspector vacancies dispute update – bans lifted

The dispute returned to the IRC again today following the Union’s imposition of relieving bans for Inspector members at 1800 hrs yesterday. An extended conference resulted in the Union agreeing to lift those bans at 1800 hours today in return for the Department’s agreement to suspend the controversial advertisements and to issue the following GroupWise message to all permanent members this afternoon:

The advertisement for the vacant Inspector positions located in Dubbo and Wagga Wagga which were advertised in In Orders 2010/18 dated 20 August 2010 are suspended from 2 September 2010 pending resolution of the matter number 884 of 2010 which is currently before the IRC NSW.

Upon resolution of the matter, the advertisement will either continue for a further 14 days or continue in an amended form for a further 14 days.

The amended form that the Union will be seeking is the withdrawal of the advertisement for any employee who has not completed the Inspectors’ Promotion Program. More to follow.

Recruit training win update

Following SITREP 26/2010 where we reported on the Union’s win for Recruit members, the Department retaliated last month by announcing that it would require all future Recruits to hold a MR licence before they started – commencing with the class scheduled to start later this month. This was never agreed and the Union took the Department to the IRC, with the result that these 20 Recruits, and soon to be FBEU members, will now be trained and paid by the NSWFB to obtain their MR licence.

Diversity – and Unity – in the NSWFB

The Union met with the Department this week to progress the development of a NSWFB Women’s Employment Strategy. This meeting followed a one-day summit held earlier this year.

However, some of the proposals floated went far beyond issues of gender equity, presenting instead as major workforce change under the guise of getting more women into the job. For example, there was a proposal to replace the Award’s promotional program structure with promotion by merit selection interview that left us questioning how this will encourage women to join, or assist women to progress through the ranks. Rather it appears to have more to do with the Department’s new-found agenda to force wider public sector processes upon the Brigades, whether appropriate or not, than it does with diversity.

The Union will continue working with the Department to increase the diversity of the NSW Fire Brigades, but not at the expense of the legitimate rights of all members. More to follow.

Jim Casey
State Secretary



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