In SITREP 42/2010 the Union advised that a number of matters remained unresolved with the E&T restructure, including the inclusion of rosters into all position descriptions (PDs) and a lack of notice for the upcoming merit interviews. The IRC’s Commissioner Ritchie today directed that members be notified of their interview times with reasonable notice and that interviews only be conducted once rosters are finalised. The parties will report back to the IRC on 9 November. More to follow.
The Department has released draft PDs as part of its proposed Human Resources Directorate restructure. The Union was not consulted during the drafting of these new PDs, so members are advised to review the PDs and forward any comments to the Union Office. The Union will advise members as more information comes to hand. In the interim no changes should be implemented.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
It would appear from the proposed HR structure that despite our current award provisions and Joint D&A Protocol, the new management team has already decided to introduce drug and alcohol testing. The Union has previously reported on this threat (see SITREPs 8/2010 and 34/2010) and has challenged the Department to demonstrate why a drug and alcohol testing regime is necessary. Disturbingly, it seems the Department intends that its testing regime will be administered by the Workplace Standards Branch, thereby treating this as a discipline matter rather than a health-related issue. Yet another dispute looms.
Safety Bulletin – SOs checking SCBAs
The Department’s most recent Safety Bulletin (19/10/2010) instructed ‘Permanent Station Officers at stations with retained staff must carry out pre-operational checks on all retained firefighters’ SCBA sets at the start of shift.’ The Union agrees that all permanent members should check their own BA set at the start of each shift, but does not agree that any permanent member is responsible for checking any other firefighter’s (retained or permanent) BA set. Station Officer members are therefore instructed to ignore this aspect of the SOG and Safety Bulletin.