While discussions continue with the Department on the rollout of new Leading Firefighter and Leading Station Officer positions, we can already destroy a few unfounded rumours by confirming that LFs and LSOs will not all be transferred onto relieving or shifted to a “district” station. They could be (eg, if all of the LFs in an area were on the one platoon then at least some would be transferred to more evenly spread their distribution) but in most cases no, a promotion will not mean automatic transfer. We can also confirm that the first 60 (and possibly 80) LF positions will be called on 25 February. More to follow.
New structural helmets
The issue of new, agreed structural firefighting helmets will commence shortly, with distribution to all stations expected by the 3rd quarter of this year. In a sensible change consistent with Leading Firefighters and Leading Station Officers and supported by the Union’s officials, Captains and Station Officers will now receive the same red helmet issue, but with different tape markings.
National day of action on 4 March
The ACTU has called a national day of action in response to the Abbott Coalition Government’s announcement of a productivity enquiry into the Fair Work Act, attempts to destroy Medicare and bring in $100,000 degrees, freezing of superannuation increases, slashing the ABC & SBS, gutting public sector jobs, devastating the community sector and cutting holes in the social safety net are all attacks on the living standards of our members and communities.
By taking action together we will demonstrate to Tony Abbott and his Coalition Government that we will not accept his attempts to slash our living standards. We will show them, as they prepare for their second budget, that we believe they are taking Australia in the wrong direction and we demand they stop. The FBEU will work with the ACTU, Unions NSW and other state and federal unions to ensure that firefighters and their families can participate in sending this message to the Abbott Coalition Government.
Bringing home the bacon in Terrigal
For members not yet aware, Senior Firefighter and FBEU member Jeff Sundstrom (Kincumber D) is standing as the Labor candidate for Terrigal in the state election to be held on 28 March.
The seat is currently held by the Baird Government but the sitting MP Chris Hartcher is not re-contesting, having joined the growing list of ugly “hard-right” faction Liberals (former Minister Mike Gallacher being another) from the Central Coast and Hunter regions to fall victim to the ICAC.
The only thing better than seeing another Baird Government seat fall would be to see it fall to an FBEU member, and we’re backing Jeff to do just that. The State Committee has approved a Union donation of $2,000 towards Jeff’s campaign and we’re calling upon members willing and able to spare a few hours helping out between now and election day (including election day itself) to contact the Union office.
For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.