SITREP 11/2015

March 27, 2015

084466-20110927worklifeInside this issue:

  • 2015 SCOM election
  • 24 hour shifts and roster flexibility – update #9
  • LF applications close …
  • … and LSO applications open
  • Vanuatu deployment
  • Who’s voting Liberal?

2015 SCOM election

Further to SITREP 10 and the eight members elected unopposed on 16 March, three more candidates were declared elected by the Electoral Commission of NSW (ECNSW) as the sole remaining candidates for their offices by the deadline for withdrawal of nominations at midday last Monday.

SCOM Office Elected
President Darin Sullivan 277 Dapto – C
Sydney Central S-B Secretary Wes Smith 1 City of Sydney – A
Sydney North S-B Secretary Stephen Creswell 36 Crows Nest – A


The ECNSW will now conduct a postal ballot for the six remaining contested offices, as follows:

SCOM Office Candidate
Senior Vice President Michael Johnsen Regional Training – SR
John Henry 77 St Marys – C
Junior Vice President Richard Neville Hazmat/CBR – E
Chris Perrin 468 Tweed Heads – A
Brett Farmer 53 Neutral Bay – C
Lachlan Haar Fire Safety – G
Leighton Drury 50 Hornsby – A
State Secretary Mark Dobson Wellbeing – SR
Jim Casey Union Office
Country Sub-Branch Secretary Tim Anderson 216 Bathurst – C
Scott Beers 381 Moree – SR
Newcastle Sub-Branch Secretary Luke Russell 464 Toronto – C
Jason Morgan 255 Charlestown – D
Retained Sub-Branch Secretary Graham Parks 360 Leeton – R
Phillip Gardner 72 Merrylands – R


The ECNSW will post your voting material to the address shown in the Union’s records on Monday 30 March. The ballot will close at 5pm on Monday 13 April 2015.

In accordance with standing Union policy, all candidates have been invited to submit a photo and up to 200 words in support of their candidacy. Information provided will be posted to the Union’s website from this evening – see the “Candidates Information” tab in our home page headers.

24 hour shifts and roster flexibility – update #9

Last month the Department issued a series of presentations, guides and FAQs for senior officers to deliver to their stations that purported to explain the main features of the new Award, and the new change of shift and alternative roster provisions in particular. This was all the Department’s own work and, unlike last week’s LF FAQ which was prepared in consultation with us, it was largely wrong.

For example, it claimed that all ranks received a 2.5% increase in February when SFs and SOs in fact received increases of over 4%. And it advised that LFs and LSOs who act up will be performing higher duties, but not outduties, which is both incorrect and in breach of the Award (see subclause 12.18).

But most of the real problems came with their advice about the change of shift and alternative roster provisions. We are now trying to work through that with management, untangling their mess and getting them back on the same page as the Union – and the Award. In the meantime, members are advised to ignore the Department’s information and rely instead on the comprehensive Union Q&A that was released with SITREP 7 back on 27 February.

LF applications close …

Commissioner’s Orders 2015/4 called for applications for the first 80 of more than 200 Leading Firefighter positions secured by the Union through the new 2014 Award. The Union understands that 805 applications were received by Wednesday’s deadline, meaning that over 50% of all SFs have applied. Applicants who have not already done so are encouraged to read the Leading Firefighter FAQ that was published last week with SITREP 10.

… and LSO applications open

This week’s Commissioner’s Orders 2015/6 has followed those 80 LF positions with a further call for the first 30 new Leading Station Officer positions. The distribution of these positions between Sydney (14), regional (9) and country (7) locations means that every Station Officer in the state with 12 or more months service at SO rank is eligible to apply for at least one of these positions. The application criteria was posted to the Department’s intranet today and applications close on Wednesday 29 April.

The 30 LSO and 80 LF positions initially advertised both exceed the 20 LSOs and 50 LFs that were negotiated last year, supporting our prediction that the projected final totals of 50 LSOs and 200 LFs will eventually prove to be minimums, not ceilings. Members should also note that the new promotion systems under the 2014 Award have replaced the old annual (or longer) intakes with an “as needs” approach which calls for applications asap after vacancies arise, so further advertisements for both LF and LSO positions are expected to follow throughout the year and thereafter.

Vanuatu deployment

Most previous interstate and overseas deployments have been followed by weeks of industrial brawling, but not this time. When I approached Commissioner Mullins last week about sorting their entitlements before our members returned, he readily agreed. It took a few exchanges and a bit good will from both parties, but I’m pleased to say that we were able to settle all outstanding issues today.

Who’s voting Liberal?

Tomorrow, NSW goes to the polls to elect the government we will work under for the next four years. The Coalition has nailed its colours to the mast – if returned to office Mike Baird will privatise electricity, keep pushing down public sector wages, and continue with the budget cuts to FRNSW and the rest of the public sector. None of that is good news for firefighters. Think before you vote.

Jim Casey
State Secretary

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



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