SITREP No. 5/2011

February 4, 2011

Inside this issue:

  • Cultural Change 1
  • Cultural Change 2
  • Contact the Union – its your right
  • Check your payslips – kilometre rate shenannigans

Cultural Change 1

“Nous Group” – a mob of consultants who specialise in large-scale cultural change – has been contracted by FRNSW to conduct workshops to develop a culture and value strategy. Setting aside the expense of this exercise for a moment, if you wanted to get an idea of the culture, wouldn’t you ask the union representing 100% of the firefighting workforce? Apparently not. In spite of the Department’s oft-professed desire to work with us there has been zero involvement from the FBEU in this process. Members are advised to approach these workshops with a healthy cynicism.

Cultural Change 2

Firefighter or fire officer? Hard to tell what they think we should be these days. Reading the Department’s latest annual report, it would seem firefighters no longer exist – we are all fire officers now. Change for changes sake? Or is this the cultural change we apparently need? Either way, the FBEU is a union of firefighters – regardless of the latest management craze.

Contact the Union – it’s your right

Members are reporting (yet again) that managers have told them they shouldn’t have gone to the Union after they have raised an issue with their representatives. The lines all too familiar, ‘you should have come to me first’, ‘You shouldn’t have made such a big deal about it’, ‘I can’t fix these things unless you tell me about them first, why involve the Union?’.

All members are entitled to contact their delegates, SCOM officials or the Union Office if they have a concern, and they don’t have to explain themselves when they do. The Union is your way of raising these issues and ensuring that they are fixed.

If any member is victimised as a result of contacting the Union they should contact a Union representative as soon as possible.

Check your payslips – kilometre rate shenannigans!

This week a member reported that his claim for the kilometre allowance had been knocked back because he had not specified the EXACT engine capacity of his vehicle on the claim form, despite having clearly indicated it was over 2.6 litres. In a funny twist, on further inspection of this particular case it turned out that the member had claimed an old kilometre rate and the Department in fact owed him $9 extra. It’s up to the Department to pay you the right rate, but it’s clear that they need a little help from you to get it right. You are advised to check your payslips to make sure the Department hasn’t been ripping you off. For travel rates for the last three years click here.

Jim Casey
State Secretary



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