SITREP 43/2014

December 24, 2014

Christmas treeInside this issue:

  • 24 hours shifts and roster flexibility – update #3
  • Your conduct online can affect you job
  • Retained authorised duties – management on notice
  • Union Office Xmas/New Year shutdown

24 hour shifts and roster flexibility – update #3

Further to SITREP 42 (and indeed SITREP 43/2013’s “Early and part change of shift arrangements”), constructive discussions between the parties over the past week have resulted in in-principle agreement for new change of shift provisions in the Permanent Award, and on interim arrangements for working 24 hour shifts by change of shift agreements between two or more members, and for an 8 week trial across all members and all shifts at No. 42 Station Ryde commencing this Friday, 26 December. The Union has undertaken to not prosecute the Department for apparent breaches of subclause 8.11 where a member working a 24 hour shift is required to stay back due to a staff shortage on the oncoming shift. This undertaking has been offered as an interim arrangement only until 20 February 2015 (ie, the date of the conclusion of the 8 week trial at No. 42 Station), by which time a long-term solution should be found.

The proposed new change of shift provisions can be found in this week’s exchange of letters between the parties (copies of which can be read by clicking here) and will be put to the first Special General Meeting of 2015 for membership endorsement.

Your conduct online can affect your job

Recent cases in industrial law confirm that your conduct online (including when off duty) can effect your employment. The potential seriousness of the issue is highlighted by a firefighter interstate who is now facing not only internal disciplinary action, but also criminal charges as a result of his posts online. The Union is currently in negotiations with the Department over a new FRNSW social media policy, which management is expected to publish in 2015. Independently of that, the Union has now published its own Guide for members on the use of social media in the “Fact Sheets and FAQs” section at We encourage any member who uses social media to read this Guide, and to think before you post.

Retained authorised duties – management on notice

Some Zones have continued their attack on retained authorised duties by attempting to reduce allocated hours, in some cases by half (see SITREP 36/10 “Retained authorised duties 1” and SITREP 8/11 “Managers managing in regional FRNSW?”). Those Zone management teams are now on notice that any attempts to do so in 2015 will have repercussions for their Zone and, if continued, for the Department. Members are instructed to ignore any management direction, written or verbal, to reduce your station’s authorised duties hours and to continue to work to the hours set out in Commissioner’s Orders 2013/06. Any member challenged for observing this instruction should contact the Union immediately.

Union Office Xmas/New Year Shutdown

The Union Office will close at midday today and resume on Monday 5 January. Members requiring assistance over this time may contact a State Committee official – for details see

On behalf of the Union’s officials, industrial and administrative staff, I wish all members and your families the compliments of the Season.


Jim Casey
State Secretary

For a printable copie of this SITREP, please click here



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