April 2, 2015
- Home fire safety audits – update #1
- Leading Station Officer FAQ
- Early relief and overtime
- Easter Sunday – Permanent members
- Easter Sunday – Retained members
- 2015 SCOM election – voting now underway
Home fire safety audits – update #1
The Department took us to the IRC this afternoon over the Union’s three week old ban on Home Fire Safety Audits (see SITREP 9), during which time management made no attempt whatsoever to discuss the matter with the Union.
The IRC recommended the bans be lifted. The Union is unable to comply with that recommendation, and the ban remains in place. More to follow.
Leading Station Officer FAQ
The Union has been pressing the Department for an agreed FAQ on the Leading Station Officer (LSO) selection process, similar to that recently provided for the LF test and attached to SITREP 10. Unfortunately, and despite the Union having already done 90% of the work for them and making it clear that we considered this urgent, the Department was still working on the Union’s draft FAQ at close of business today. I considered releasing our draft with today’s SITREP, but quickly decided that it would be fairer to all concerned to issue an agreed FAQ asap next week instead.
What I can say now is that central to our FAQ discussions is the seven portfolio criteria, which were essentially lifted from the last IPP process. While the Union has reservations about the appropriateness of all of these criteria for the LSO rank, we have agreed to their use for this initial process and subject to their joint review (and applicants’ feedback) afterwards. Still under discussion at the moment is whether each of the seven criteria should be evenly weighted, with the Union advocating for a bias towards the more operational elements. We expect to resolve this, and the FAQ generally, early next week.
Early relief and overtime
Management is already thinking of ways to use our new alternative rosters to drive down costs. In an email to members, one Zone has written to staff directing that “Previously, under the 10/14 roster, it was standard practice for the reliever to wait until 1800 hours to travel to a location where a vacancy existed because the reliever’s shift didn’t officially commence until 1800 hours. Under the 24 hour roster however, there are occasions when the reliever, having been on-duty since 0800 hours, could be relieved at one location at anytime during their 24 hour shift and be required to re-locate to another station to fill an upcoming vacancy. Therefore, if you are working the 24 hour roster and you find that you are not required at one location due to available crew numbers and the Duty Commander has notified you of a vacancy elsewhere, you are to proceed to that location at the time of notification and not wait until the 1800 hour mark.”
What management failed to say was that a reliever cannot be “spare” prior to 1800 hours unless the member coming on shift is being paid overtime for the period between that early relief and 1800. While management was careful to avoid specifying the circumstance under which this early “spare-ness” might arise, it’s clear that in 99% of occasions the “some other reason” referred to will be early relief.
The Department can’t have it both ways.
Either the reliever must stay until 1800 and the oncoming shift commences, or the oncoming shift member who starts early in order to release the reliever to another station must be paid overtime between the time of that relief and 1800. Any member who finds themselves in this situation should claim the overtime and, if that claim is rejected, contact the Union office.
Easter Sunday – Permanent members
The Union’s 2012 win in the Easter Sunday public holiday dispute (see SITREP 25/2012) and consequent amendment of the 2014 Permanent Award (see subclause 6.4.2) means that any permanent member who works between 0001 and 2400 hours on Easter Sunday will accrue the same number of hours of consolidated leave as the hours worked. The rostered shifts fall as follows:
A Platoon = 8 hours consolidated leave (0001 to 0800 hours)
C Platoon = 10 hours consolidated leave (0800 to 1800 hours)
D Platoon = 6 hours consolidated leave (1800 to 0000 hours)
F Platoon = 12 hours consolidated leave (0600 to 1800 hours)
Members who work overtime on Easter Sunday will also accrue the same number of hours of consolidated leave as the hours worked that day. This is in addition to the overtime paid for that work.
Finally, members who are rostered to work on Easter Sunday but do not actually work on the day due to any form of leave or a change of shift will not be credited with the consolidated leave. Members who work a change of shift on Sunday get the consolidated leave, not the member who was rostered to work.
Easter Sunday – Retained members
The Union’s 2012 win in the Easter Sunday public holiday dispute also resulted in the amendment of the 2014 Retained Award (see subclause 6.10.3) so that any retained member who works between 0001 and 2400 hours on Easter Sunday will be paid at overtime rates for any and all hours worked that day.
The 2014 Retained Award went beyond simply compensating members who work on Easter Sunday. The Union also established parity with permanent members by ensuring that retained members who work on Easter Sunday or any additional public holiday are paid at overtime rates for all hours worked on each such day.
2015 SCOM election – voting now underway
Further to the special election notice of 23 February and subsequent items in SITREPs 9, 10 and 11, the Electoral Commission of NSW posted voting material to the last known address of all Union members on Monday 31 March.
All members should have received their voting material by now. If you have not, then it is likely that you did not advise the Union of your last change of address. Members who have not received their voting material, or who have lost or spoiled their ballot paper should contact Diana Kosseifi at the Electoral Commission of NSW directly on (02) 9290 5924.
Ballot papers must be returned by 1700 hours on Monday 13 April in order to be counted.
President and Acting State Secretary
For a printable copy of this SITREP, please click here.