Code Red: bans commence 1800hrs.

June 14, 2014

Permanent members’ backpay in doubt, Bans to commence at 1800 hours today

Last week’s SITREP 20/14 reported that the Government’s failure to confirm agreement for permanent members’ backpay to 21 February while award negotiations proceeded had led the IRC to list the matter for report back at 4pm yesterday afternoon. Acting President Boland was clearly expecting a clear answer from the employer, as were we.

The Department’s answer was that it had no answer other than to say that it was in the queue for the Government’s consideration, hopefully at a meeting scheduled for 23 June – although they were making no promises about that either.

So what should be an automatic tick is now in doubt. The Government has agreed to backpay for every other public sector award, including both the FRNSW Retained and Trades awards. As SITREP has repeatedly explained, the Government’s wages policy and associated IR Act reforms were designed to reduce the real wages of public sector workers. That’s a fight for another day. What adds insult to injury now is for permanent firefighters to be treated differently to the rest of the public sector on the straightforward question of backpay.

The Union is demanding that backpay of 2.27% is paid on 26 June for the 18 weeks/9 pay periods since the nominal expiration of the 2011 Permanent Award on 20 February. At stake is at least $507 for each Firefighter Level 1 – and obviously more again for other ranks.

Permanent members are therefore instructed to observe the following bans and limitations from 1800 hours tonight until notified otherwise by way of another notice issued by the State Secretary:

  • Move ups for or to TOLed stations are banned. Move ups that are the result of an incident remain permitted. Members who are directed to move up to another station should confirm the reason for the move up. If it becomes known that the move up is not incident related, or is simply being used to cover a TOLed station, then members are to return to their own station immediately.
  • Out duties and relieving from TOLed stations is banned. No member (including relieving staff) is to leave a station that is taken off line (TOLed) due to a staff shortage. This means that members are not to leave the station at which they commenced duty.
  • The TOLing of fully staffed stations/appliances is banned. No member (including a reliever or member on recall) is to leave a station in order to perform relieving or outduties if, by doing so, they would reduce that shift’s safe and effective minimum crewing for any appliance.

Members are reminded of the Union’s general instructions regarding TOLing, which remain in force and which can be found on the Union’s website under the “Fact Sheets and FAQs” menu or by clicking here. A dispute update will be included in SITREP 21 on Monday.

Jim Casey
State Secretary            

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




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