The Special General Meeting and associated Sub-Branch meetings concluded with the declaration of the final vote on each question pursuant to Rule 11(4)(d) today, as follows:
Question 1. Response to 2012/13 Budget and the NSW Government’s Labour Cost Cap
“That the initiatives and award variations proposed by the Union’s State Committee of Management to avoid the immediate TOLing of permanent appliances and firefighter job losses following the O’Farrell Government’s Labour Cost Cap forced reduction of FRNSW employee-related expenditure by $15.3M this financial year, as set out in the document headed ‘2012/13 Budget and the NSW Government’s Labour Cost Cap’ and placed on the Union’s internet site prior to this meeting, be received, noted and endorsed.”
LOST (803 for, 1220 against)
Question 2. Endorsement of 2012 Death and Disability Award
“That the proposed 2012 Death and Disability Award and associated terms of settlement, as placed on the Union’s internet site prior to this meeting, be received, noted and endorsed.”
CARRIED (1986 for, 30 against)
Where to from here?
Firstly, it is important to recognise the huge interest shown by members in this SGM, as reflected in a record general meeting attendance of over 2,000 members across the state.
SITREP 29 confirmed that permanent station TOLing (taking stations “Temporarily Off Line” in order to avoid overtime) was not only on the Department’s agenda, it was literally days away from commencing. That was back on 27 July. Members at the time were loud and clear in their expectation that the Union should block this, or any expansion of retained TOLing. The Union’s officials responded to this by convincing both the IRC and the Department that expanded TOLing should be put on hold to allow alternative overtime-saving measures to be developed. A comprehensive package of proposals to reduce overtime and avoid TOLing was subsequently put to the membership at this SGM.
The Union’s officials acknowledge and respect the fact that members this week were equally loud and clear in their rejection of those proposals. What is less certain is where this decision will now take us. Commissioner Mullins had already written last week to confirm his intention to commence permanent TOLing and other “budget reduction strategies” if the SGM voted no. This is not expected to occur before the parties return once more to the IRC this Friday. More on this following those proceedings.
Less controversial was the members’ endorsement of the proposed new D&D Award, which will now be made by the IRC’s Justice Haylen in a separate hearing at 0945 hrs tomorrow.