SITREP 22/2013

May 31, 2013

IRCInside this issue:

  • Inspector promotions off to the IRC …
  • … and Station Officer promotions off altogether
  • A new Drug and Alcohol Protocol? Update #3
  • Super answer: “Oh, you have a twin?”

Inspector promotions off to the IRC …

Further to last week’s report (see SITREP 21/13, “New officers promotion system”), management today kicked off the first of a series of “information forums” for Station Officers interested in becoming Inspectors. Unfortunately for the Department (and for any members who wasted their afternoon today), the proposal is unlikely to get off the ground any time soon.

After waiting a full week for a reply to our letter of 23 May and receiving none, the Union this afternoon notified the IRC of yet another dispute and this is expected to be heard shortly. In the meantime, the Department should (but won’t) cancel these information forums. We’re not going to tell members not to attend, but prospective candidates’ time will almost certainly be better spent studying for this year’s test.

Unless of course the Department cancels this years IPP altogether after it doesn’t get its way and then attempts to blame the Union. But they wouldn’t do that, would they? Remember, you read it here first.

 … and Station Officer promotions off altogether

While Station Officers should keep studying, Senior Firefighters might think about stopping. We are yet to have it confirmed in writing, but the Department this week mentioned in passing that the next Station Officers’ Pre-Entry Test will not be held until September 2014.

The Award is clear in its intention that there will be both a Pre-Entry Test and an SOPP conducted each year. It simply doesn’t contemplate that the SOPP might skip a year and, the truth be known, competent workforce planning would ensure that it never had to. More to follow.

A new Drug and Alcohol Protocol? Update #3

Further to previous updates on the issue, and most recently in last week’s SITREP 21/13, the Union’s amendments to the Department’s proposed Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and Testing and Procedures documents are highlighted in the documents available here below.

To view the proposed Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and suggested Union amendments (updated from those posted last week), click here.

To view the proposed Alcohol and Other Drugs Testing and Procedures and suggested Union amendments, click here.

I again encourage all members to read and consider both documents and our amendments. The matter returns to the IRC next Thursday, 6 June.

Super answer: “Oh, you have a twin?”

A member who contacted the Department this week to find out why his super account was about to close after 5 years of no deposits was told that FRNSW had been depositing all of his super contributions into the account of his twin brother (also a firefighter and member).

When our member asked how this could occur the Department’s response was underwhelming: “Oh, you have a twin?” There was no apology or attempt to fix this $40,000+ mistake, only a voicemail message to say that he should sort it out with his brother. We’ve since put our member in touch with the ATO, which will hopefully now get about the Department with a big stick, but the moral of this story is clear: don’t trust them, and always check your payslips.

Jim Casey
State Secretary



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