SITREP 12/2014

April 4, 2014

Bar BellInside this issue:

  • Permanent award update #1
  • Retained award update #15
  • Auditor-General’s report on firefighter fitness

Permanent award update #1

The Union’s application for a new Permanent award came on before the IRC’s President, Justice Walton today, following the filing of our amended application. The Union and Department have been directed to confer and the matter has been listed for report back in the IRC on 29 April.

Members are reminded that the amended claim, with all proposed changes from the current award highlighted, is available to download on our website. Members should continue to submit any questions, comments or clarifications via email to , or by using the industrial inquiry link on our website.

Retained award update #15

The Retained Award returned this week to the Industrial Relations Commission. After encouraging signs last week of a resolution, the Department now opposes all the Union’s outstanding claims: a service allowance; compensation for additional public holidays; additional consultation; and maintenance of the Award’s disciplinary provisions.

The parties have now set out their final claims in respect of each of the disputed issues (both the actual clauses and the arguments supporting them). Justice Walton will then make a recommendation on the papers before him. More to follow in SITREP 13.

Auditor-General’s report on firefighter fitness

This week saw the release of the Auditor-General’s report on firefighter fitness. Mr Hehir recommended that Fire and Rescue NSW implement regular mandatory health and fitness assessments for firefighters, along with measures that require firefighters, as part of their duties, to undertake activities to maintain their fitness.

These recommendations are consistent with our support and advocacy for a properly planned, adequately resourced, Health and Wellness program for firefighters. The Union today filed our application for a new Death and Disability Award, which includes just that.  A copy, with all proposed changes from the current award highlighted, is available by clicking here.

The Auditor-General did hit one dud note, with less-stringent recommendations for Rural Fire Service volunteers. If the fitness of firefighters is a genuine health and safety issue, which of course it is, then why have one standard for FRNSW and another for the RFS?

The RFS constantly assures the public that their structural firefighting units are at least as good, if not better than FRNSW Retained Brigades. Really? While that remains to be seen, the Auditor-General’s reluctance to hold them to same level of accountability suggests that he, at least, can see the difference

Jim Casey
State Secretary

For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.



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