SITREP No. 31 of 2011

August 12, 2011

Inside this issue:

  • FBEU leading the “deeming” debate
  • Regional Comms transfers win
  • Delegates training rolls on
  • O’Farrell’s axe to fall on 80,000 heads?

FBEU leading the “deeming” debate

In SITREP 26/2011 (“Assumptions and presumptions”) we reported on the first reading of a Commonwealth Parliament Bill calling for presumptive legislation which, if passed, would reverse the onus of proof for some (but not all) cancer-related workers compensation claims.

While the Bill only covers Aviation and ACT firefighters, the FBEU and United Voice (the Northern Territory firefighters’ union) nonetheless filed a joint submission which supports the Bill, but also points out its shortcomings including the potential non-coverage of retained firefighters and the narrow range of illnesses covered. At the same time, the Union has also met with Government and opposition MPs seeking support for the introduction of corresponding legislation for NSW firefighters.

To view our submission (and all others) follow this link:

Regional Comms transfers win

This week’s Commissioner’s Orders 2011/17 announced new procedures for appointments to Regional Communication Centres. What the Commissioner didn’t announce was that those new procedures were taken, word for word, from a recommendation of the Industrial Relations Commission in settlement of a two year long dispute between the Union and the Department after management refused to follow the procedures set out in Clause 28 of the Permanent Award.

The Union is satisfied with the new procedure, which preserves the primacy of the transfer registers. It is both transparent and fair, which is more than can be said for the manner in which the Department had attempted to handle these transfers. That the future of two of the three existing Regional Comms Centres remains in doubt is another issue again, and one of increasing concern to members and officials alike. More to follow.

Delegates training rolls on

The State Committee’s program of renewal for our Station Delegates network this week saw another well-attended Delegates’ training day, this time in Newcastle. Any interested Delegate or activist is encouraged to contact their Sub-Branch Secretary for information about upcoming training days.

O’Farrell’s axe to fall on 80,000 heads?

The Daily Terror this week reported the O’Farrell Government was preparing for massive across-the-board cuts in the state budget due next month. It seems they are looking to emulate the Tory Government in the riot-torn UK where 25% cuts across each agency have been enforced, including savage cuts to fire services, and which also resulted in at least a two year pay freeze for all public servants – firefighters included. No wonder Barry didn’t release any of his policies prior to the last state election.

Jim Casey

State Secretary



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