SITREP 35/2014

October 30, 2014

draw the lineInside this issue:

  • The lie of the flat wage rise

The lie of the flat wage rise

The Union’s officials understand that some of the opposition to the proposed award is caused by the higher wage increases for Senior Firefighters and Station Officers, and the incorrect belief that the Union has never before singled out individual ranks for larger pay rises like this. A quick look at the ranks over recent years shows that not only is this not right, but also the SFs’ and SOs’ turn.

This table shows the pay rates for each waged rank in February 2004, and today.

Rank Feb 2004
$ per week
Feb 2014
$ per week
Recruit Firefighter 780.32 1,093.69 40.2%
Firefighter Level 1 844.69 1,268.38 50.2%
Firefighter Level 2 884.84 1,338.86 51.3%
Firefighter Level 3
(now FL2)
925.04 1,338.86 44.7%
Firefighter Level 4
(now QF)
965.25 1,409.31 46.0%
Qualified Firefighter 1,005.52 1,409.31 40.2%
Senior Firefighter 1,045.76 1,465.70 40.2%
Leading Firefighter 1,126.20 1,578.45 40.2%
Station Officer Level 1 1,206.58 1,691.11 40.2%
Station Officer Level 2 1,256.93 1,761.68 40.2%
Inspector 1,494.78 2,113.98 41.4%


While the QF, SF, LF and SO ranks have all received 40.2% wage increases in the decade since February 2004, the FL1 to FL4 ranks (and therefore every new member since 2004) all received substantially more due to the PSTP settlement (see PSTP deal confirmed and PSTP deal confirmed Part 2).

The additional 1.2% paid to Inspectors came in 2008, but this wasn’t the only occasion in recent history where Inspectors received higher wages. In the 1994 Award round when Station Officers Level 2 received a 9.7% increase ($762.71 to $837.09 pw) and Senior Firefighters a 9.2% increase ($637.73 to $696.46), Inspectors received a 15% increase ($873.12 to $1004.42 pw).

And while the above table does not include them, Executive Officer members didn’t miss out either. When all ranks received a 3% increase in February 2000, Executive Officers received an 11% wage rise: Superintendents from $73,829 to $82,048 and Chief Superintendents from $79,769 to $88,648.

This is not a criticism of these increases or the members in these ranks. The Union won these increases and we stand by them. But it does put the record straight on who’s been paid what, and puts paid to the lie being peddled by some that every past award has delivered flat, even increases for all ranks.

Clearly, Senior Firefighters and Station Officers are overdue.

Jim Casey
State Secretary

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



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