Last week’s SITREP items about the future of the annual leave conversion and flexibility trials caused a bit of confusion amongst the membership, so to clear that up:
Firstly, the Union isn’t scrapping the A/L conversion trial, the Department is. The Department first notified us back in July last year that it would be terminating the conversion trial on 24 August 2012, so far from killing it off, the Union actually kept it on life support for the last six months. The Department has written this week to confirm that the Commissioner’s Orders 2013/4 will conclude the annual leave conversion trial on and from 22 February. No further reprieve is expected, which explains the Union’s counter-proposal to improve the way in which the current Leave Groups operate.
Secondly, on flexible leave for Op Support members, nothing has changed and the ability to apply for and take annual leave outside of the standard leave rosters will continue as before. The only difference will be that if you can’t reach agreement then you’ll also now have the option to revert back to your annual leave group and that’s when you go on annuals. So the Union’s new proposal will give members more options, not less. I invite any member who still thinks they’ll be worse off under this new arrangement to contact me directly.
Changed A/L group? Claim your consolidated leave
It appears that some permanent members may not be claiming consolidated leave when they have been directed to change their annual leave groups. The entitlement to consolidated leave arises where there is or will be delay in the taking of annual leave. A worksheet for calculating such entitlements is on the Union’s website, along with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Annual Leave. Members who have any queries about the accrual or taking of annual leave should contact the Union office for further advice.
First Responder petition not ours
A petition titled “Medical First Responder” was this week faxed to most if not all FRNSW workplaces. To avoid doubt, this petition is neither endorsed nor issued by, or on behalf of, the FBEU. Any document that is issued by the FBEU carries the Union’s logo, and usually a name and signature also.
The aim of the petition is unclear. And who is it going to be delivered to? The Union is not going to advise members to not sign it, but by only calling for a campaign “to protect paramedic staffing levels” when we all know that NSW needs more paramedics, it seems a little underdone to us.
Finally, members may have heard that the HSU (the paramedics’ union) will be holding several protest rallies next week. The FBEU has not been contacted, let alone invited, but if the HSU’s members actually go on strike then we will consider joining them, whether asked to or not.
Senior Vice President and Acting State Secretary