SITREP 27/2012

July 6, 2012

Inside this issue:

  • Who voted Liberal?  Update on NSW Budget cuts
  • Financial relief for members who went on strike on 21 June 2012
  • Tax time – reminder to claim your Union dues
  • Meal and travel allowance increased from 1 July 2012

Who voted Liberal? Update on NSW Budget cuts

As reported in SITREP 24/12, the O’Farrell Government’s June Budget imposed across-the-board cuts which, in the case of FRNSW, will require employee-related expenses to be slashed by $7.6M in 2012/13, and by a cumulative $64M over the coming four years.

It is no secret that management is now canvassing all sorts of unprecedented cost-cutting measures, including taking permanent stations off-line in order to reduce overtime expenditure. The rumour mill has gone into overdrive about what sort of changes and cuts the Union has already agreed to. The truth is that the Union and Department remain in discussions and nothing (I repeat, nothing) has been agreed.

The Union does not accept the loss of any fire cover (however temporary), but also recognises that less overtime is a better option than forced job losses. And make no mistake, with budget cuts of this scale and O’Farrell’s confirmation that we are not “frontline workers”, this is what is now at risk. More to follow.

Financial relief for members who went on strike on 21 June 2012

 The State Committee has approved the use of the Union’s Award Fighting Fund to provide financial relief for the hundreds of FBEU members who engaged in the Union’s successful strike against the O’Farrell Government’s workers compensation laws on 21 June 2012.

Members who took strike action on 21 June 2012 and who:

a)   make application for relief by no later than 1 October 2012 on the approved form (which can be downloaded here); and

b)   provide evidence that their wages were docked in the form of the relevant pay advice;

will be reimbursed from the Union’s Fighting Fund at the rate of $29 for each hour, or part thereof (to the nearest fifteen minutes) that they were docked.

Tax time – reminder to claim your Union dues

With the end of the financial year, members are reminded (and certainly advised) to claim your Union dues as a work-related tax deduction for the 2011/12 year. This amount should appear on your PAYG Payment Summary (ie, Group Certificate) issued by FRNSW.

 Meal and travel allowance increased from 1 July 2012

Certain allowances in both the Permanent and Retained Awards increased on 1 July 2012. The accommodation, meal and incidental allowances have been determined at a level consistent with the reasonable allowance amounts for the 2012/13 financial year as determined by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and the Sydney CPI increase for the March quarter. The updated meal and travel allowances can be downloaded here. While the Department is not expected to pay these new rates until they have been published in Commissioner’s Orders, members are advised to claim the new rates immediately.

Jim Casey
State Secretary



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