As reported in SITREP 6, wage increases and reduced D&D contributions for all members took effect on 20 February and should therefore have appeared in members’ pays this week. As an indication of these benefits for permanent members, fortnightly wages increased by $64.24 for Recruits, $151.90 for Senior Firefighters, $175.52 for Station Officers and $145.96 for Inspectors. All retained members’ rates of pay, allowances and retainers increased by 2.5%, while D&D contributions decreased from $9.41 to $7.22 per week. Members are always encouraged to check your pay advice – doubly so when new rates take effect.
Higher retainers – update #2
We’re pleased to report that the Department has agreed to implement one very important reform of the 2014 Retained Award by trialing higher retainers at West Wyalong and Brewarrina. Surprisingly, the Department is reporting that several other stations have been asked about higher retainers and declined the offer. We’ll be following those stations up to check for ourselves, as well as following the trial at West Wyalong and Brewarrina and seeking feedback from both management and our members at both stations.
Meanwhile, our availability system (aka Gartan) trial has been running for three weeks now and the feedback from members has generally been very positive. Retained members is Zones MN3 and RW3 have been trialing the Gartan system and reporting that it is both easy to use and provides all members and management a good indication of their station’s availability. Some hiccups have been identified, mostly of a technical nature, and there have been several suggestions for additional features to be included. All in all, though, we are very pleased with the trial to date and we’re looking forward to a statewide roll out sooner rather than later. Members in MN3 and RW3 are encouraged to continue to provide feedback to ensure that the system we finally agree upon is the best it possibly can be.
Medical Review Consent? Don’t give it
The Department continues to advise members claiming for workers compensation or seeking a fitness for duty assessment that they must sign either a “Medical Review Consent” or “Authority to obtain and or release of information related to your injury” form before their matter can progress. Despite the claims (and threats) made in the forms, employers are not entitled or required to know all of your health details, nor do they have the right to access your medical records or doctors. The Union’s advice remains that members should not sign these forms, and contact the Union office.
In brief …
Members are reminded that our March SGM is still underway, with the SSWSB meeting at 8 Liverpool at 1000 hrs on Monday, the CSB meeting at all CSB stations from 1630 hrs on Monday and the SOWSB meeting at 97 Huntingwood at 1900 hrs on Wednesday, when the SGM will then close.
The Department will release a Leading Firefighter FAQ next week that has been jointly developed and agreed with the Union. This will be the authoritative position on the application and testing process.
For a printable version of this SITREP, please click here.