September 20, 2011

1000 hours Tuesday 18 October 2011
Auditorium, 1-7 Belmore Street Surry Hills



1.         Meeting Open

2.         Adoption of minutes

“That the draft minutes of the June Special General Meeting held 30 June 2011, as tabled and circulated to all members via the Union’s website prior to this meeting be received, noted and adopted as a true and correct record of that meeting.”

3.         State Secretary’s Annual Report

4.         Questions on Notice

a)         From the State Committee re: presumptive legislation

“That this meeting notes:

  • the introduction in July this year 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;
  • that the Bill, if passed, would not cover NSW firefighters;
  • that while the Bill only covers Aviation and ACT firefighters, the FBEU and United Voice (the Northern Territory firefighters’ union) nonetheless filed a joint submission Senate Inquiry into the Bill which supports it, but also points out its shortcomings including the potential non-coverage of retained firefighters and the narrow range of illnesses covered;
  • that unlike interstate firefighters, FBEU members already have the protection of both workers’ compensation and D&D cover, the latter of which remains the national benchmark in compensation for injured firefighters, both on and off-duty;
  • that the Union’s State Secretary has made representations in support of presumptive legislation to numerous state Parliamentarians including the Premier, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, the Minister for Finance, the Leader of the Opposition, the Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and various cross-benchers and that as a result the Opposition and Greens both now support in-principle the passage of presumptive legislation in the NSW Parliament, while the Government continues to reserve its position;

and accordingly, records its expectation that:

  • the NSW Government and Parliament will introduce suitable presumptive legislation covering NSW firefighters as soon as possible following the enactment of the Commonwealth Bill; and
  • the Union’s State Committee will develop and initiate an industrial/political campaign in the event that the Commonwealth Parliament passes this Bill and the NSW Parliament fails to do so.”

State Committee recommendation:           SUPPORT


b)         From the State Committee re: Award Fighting Fund

“That a $450,000 Award Fighting Fund be established to support the Union’s industrial/political campaign for new Awards for retained members (due February 2013) and permanent members (due February 2014), including the provision of financial relief to members who participate in official stop-work and/or strike action, by re-assigning the funding that was previously allocated to allow the UFUA’s NSW Branch to meet its annual capitation payments to the UFUA’s National Office, being approximately:

a) for the 2010/11 financial year: $105,600;
b) for the 2011/12 financial year: $109,900;
c) for the 2012/13 financial year: $112,600; and
d) for the 2013/14 financial year, $115,400;

with expenditure from this Fund to be determined by resolution of the Union’s State Committee or a general meeting of members and any residual balance to be returned to the Union’s general finances by or before 30 June 2014.”

State Committee recommendation:           SUPPORT

c)          From the State Committee re: financial relief for members who participated in recent stop work actions

“That this meeting approves the use of the Union’s Award Fighting Fund to provide financial relief for FBEU members who were docked wages for engaging in the Union’s stop work actions of 15 June 2011 and 8 September 2011 on the basis that:

  • financial relief for these two actions shall be set for all members, regardless of rank or position, at an hourly rate equivalent to 70% of the Total Weekly Rate of a Station Officer Level 2 divided by 42, rounded up to the nearest dollar, or $28 per hour;
  • financial relief shall not be automatic, with payment to be made on application by each member and subject in each instance to the production of evidence (eg, a payslip) of lost wages;
  • the form of application and method of reimbursement (eg, cash, cheque, electronic funds transfer, etc) shall be determined by the State Committee of Management.”

State Committee recommendation:     SUPPORT

d)         From petitioning members under Rule 11(2) re: rescission of cross-crewing ban

“[That] Members of the FBEU direct the State Secretary to call a Special General Meeting to debate and rescind the previous motion regarding cross crewing of Marine 1. Due to the inactivity, stalemate situation Marine 1 is currently in. The original motion of banning cross crewing and its crewing of two permanent members is flawed and unsafe. Therefore other proposals and solutions have been thought of to break this stalemate. Given the opportunity we members would like to propose new motions to be discussed and voted on at the next SGM.”

State Committee recommendation:        REJECT

e)         From the State Committee re: rescission of June 2011 SGM CFR/MFR policies

“That in anticipation of the adoption of the separate motion on this meeting’s agenda concerning MFR/CFR policy, the two resolutions of the June 2011 Special General Meeting reproduced immediately here below be rescinded:

‘That, in response to and in acknowledgement of;

  • the Department’s failure to acknowledge the remunerative value of any new work, in terms of training, responsibilities and workload;
  • the Department’s failure to properly consult firefighters relating to CFR; and
  • the Department’s failure to provide firefighters of all ranks with position/job descriptions;

and in recognition of the FBEU’s stance to protect and improve upon the standard of NSW ambulance services and response, we the members of the FBEU ban any further increase in the number of FRNSW stations outside of the existing list of Alstonville, Branxton, Bundeena, Bundanoon, Uralla and Tocumwal that are to perform the CFR role. The scope of the ban is to cover both CFR training and/or CFR response.

The above stations are to still have the full support of the FBEU, in determining remuneration and training levels for CFR, and the FBEU will unreservedly support any of the above stations’ members who decide they no longer wish to participate in the CFR programme, or provide a CFR service.’


‘That, in response to and in acknowledgement of;

  • the Department’s failure to acknowledge the remunerative value of any new work, in terms of training, responsibilities and workload;
  • the Department’s failure to properly consult firefighters relating to MFR; and
  • the Department’s failure to provide firefighters of all ranks with position/job descriptions;

and in recognition of the FBEU’s stance to protect and improve upon the standard of NSW ambulance services and response, we the members of the FBEU hereby ban the MFR role, the scope of the ban is to cover any MFR training and/or MFR response.’

State Committee recommendation:     SUPPORT

f)          From the State Committee re: adoption of a new CFR and MFR Policy

“That on the understanding that:

a)       Medical First Response (MFR), also known as Emergency Medical Response (EMS) is, broadly speaking, performed in urban areas where a time-critical medical emergency arises and firefighters, based on their response profile, are considered more likely to arrive before paramedics to the time-critical medical emergency;


b)       Community First Response (CFR) is, broadly speaking, performed in smaller and/or more isolated communities without an ASNSW service and, unlike MFR, involves:

i)     the provision of a response to all medical calls rather than only time-critical medical emergencies; and
ii)    the provision of a response where an ASNSW response is some time away (for example, 30 kilometers or 40 minutes) from the medical emergency;

this general meeting of members resolves to:

1)       ban the participation of members in the delivery of MFR until determined otherwise by a subsequent general meeting of members; and

2)       support in-principle the performance of CFR by members in locations where there is no ASNSW capability on the understanding that:

i)     the performance of CFR duties will remain non-compulsory for individual members; and
ii)    continued support will be subject to the recognition of the additional roles and responsibilities for members performing CFR through the attainment of appropriate additional remuneration; and

3)       endorse an industrial/political campaign for the attainment of additional remuneration for retained members performing CFR, with an increase in the order of 20% of average retained earnings being considered an appropriate claim on the understanding that the final figure will be subject to negotiation and ultimately, acceptance or rejection by a subsequent general meeting of members.”

State Committee recommendation:     SUPPORT

g)         Nomination for Honorary Membership

“That this meeting resolves to confer the honour of Honorary Membership of the Union on Comrade Steve Masselos in recognition of the meritorious contribution made over the past forty years by Steve and his legal firm of Steve Masselos & Co. towards advancing the Objects of the Union through the provision of sound legal services, representation and advice to not only every Union Secretary and Committee since Comrade Frank Bryce first engaged his services in 1971 but also, and more significantly, to literally thousands of rank and file members and their families over that time.”

State Committee recommendation:     SUPPORT

h)         Appointment of Returning Officer

“That in accordance with Rule 22(1), this meeting appoints Comrade Graeme Ottley as Returning Officer for the ensuing 12 months through until the Union’s 2012 Annual General Meeting.”

State Committee recommendation:     SUPPORT

5.         Meeting Close

Darin Sullivan

Acting State Secretary and President



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