Following on from last week’s SITREP, some details have begun to emerge around the O’Farrell Government’s proposed public sector wages policy, and accompanying legislation. At this stage, it looks like the Industrial Relations Commission will be unable to award wage increases for productivity gains or work value. This removes any possible incentive for firefighters (or any public sector worker) to take on new work. Under these new rules we cannot be paid for it. The draft Bill will be tabled in Parliament next week. If passed, the Bill will apply immediately to cases currently before the IRC. More to follow.
Community safety activities
With the launch of the Department’s new SABRE guide for firefighters earlier this year and Fire Prevention Week earlier this month, there has been an increased focus on community safety activities. As part of this, the Union has been informed that in some zones, management are still setting quotas for firefighters to undertake community safety activities. The Union reminds members of the State Committee of Management resolution published in SITREP 30/2010:
“That having regard to community safety activities, State Committee confirms its view that:
a) there is a suite of programs that Station Officers may choose to deliver in their areas, in consultation with their crew, but given the increasing number of programs, no member should be expected or required to deliver all of them;
b) there should be no quotas, but members should undertake what is reasonable having regard to the station’s workload;
c) there are certain activities which are entirely voluntary, including smoke alarm installations and kitchen fire simulators;
d) the identification of risk profiles and the programs associated with those profiles for station areas should continue to be provided by the Community Safety Division; and
e) whilst the station will be a contact point for community members wishing to be involved in a program or arrange a station visit, the advertisement and promotion of community safety activities provided by stations should continue to be carried out by the Community Safety Division.”
During the current renovations at the State Training College members have been expected to act as quasi-removalists for a day. As rooms were being remodeled, members were being told by management to clear out the furniture and stack it some distance away. Using firefighters like this is a penny-pinching exercise by the Department. In future, members should decline to perform such work and advise the Union if they receive such instructions from management.
Union’s Rules available on website
Members are reminded that copies of the Union’s Rules are available either directly from the Union Office, or on the Members’ Forum section of the website.