SITREP 9/2016

March 18, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • Home fire safety audits – update #2
  • Royal Easter Show
  • Easter Sunday – Retained members
  • Easter Sunday – Permanent members
  • Transfer Registers changing – update #2
  • Meal allowances payable on staybacks – clarification

Home fire safety audits – update #2

Last March, SITREP 9/15 instructed members “Fire prevention is an important part of our work. Touting for business like this is not. Permanent members are therefore instructed that work of this nature (ie offering unsolicited services or advice) is hereby banned, effective immediately, and is not to be performed by any member until further notice.”

SITREP 12/15 subsequently reported that the IRC had recommended that ban be lifted, which the Union declined to do. Further conciliation and then arbitration over the following 10 months eventually led the IRC on 9 February this year to order that the Union “cease threatening or taking industrial action, including any bans, limitations on work or withdrawal of labour in respect to the home fire safety checks (HFSC) program and any other prevention activities undertaken by firefighters.”

The Union remains disappointed by this IRC decision, which frankly misrepresented our position and trivialised our concerns. There was no ban on the performance of Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSCs), only on the cold-calling aspect of the program, so the Union has spent the past month negotiating improvements to the Department’s draft HFSC Guidelines in preparation for the lifting of our ban on door-knocking and cold calling residents today.

The Union’s ban on permanent members offering unsolicited services or advice to residents (ie door-knocking/cold calling) that was imposed on 13 March 2015 via SITREP 9/15 is hereby lifted, effective immediately. Members are now advised and instructed that:
1) while the door-knocking/cold calling aspect of the HFSC Program may now be undertaken without offending Union instruction or policy, it remains voluntary until further notice. That is to say, members are free to engage in door-knocking/cold calling for the HFSC Program but may not be directed to do so; and
2) there is no ban or restriction on the remainder of the HFSC Program, which the Union supports and accepts is now mandatory as a consequence of the IRC’s orders. That is to say, members may be directed to conduct HFSC for residents who have requested them, and members may be directed to participate in both proactive and reactive HFSC deployments – provided in all instances that there shall be no quotas of how many HFSCs must be performed and (as per point 1) that participation in the door-to-door canvassing aspect remains voluntary.

Royal Easter Show

Retained members working this year’s Royal Easter Show are entitled to the special Award provisions negotiated by the Union for this work at subclause 6.8, including higher hourly rates of pay – $49.08 for Firefighters, $52.61 for Deputy Captains and $56.84 for Captains. Members unsure about their working arrangements at the 2016 Show should contact the Union for further advice and assistance.

Easter Sunday – Retained members

Retained members are reminded that any and all work performed between 0001 and 2400 hours on Easter Sunday, 27 March should be paid at overtime rates (see Retained Award subclause 6.10.3). Why only Easter Sunday? Because, like permanent members, retained members are already compensated for working the other regular public holidays throughout the year in the Award’s hourly rates of pay. Easter Sunday was not a public holiday until the previous Labor Government made it one in 2011.

Easter Sunday – Permanent members

The successful Easter Sunday public holiday dispute (see SITREP 25/2012) means that any permanent member who works between 0001 and 2400 hours this Easter Sunday, 27 March will accrue the same number of hours of consolidated leave as the hours worked. The rostered shifts fall as follows:

Back to Back Roster:
E Platoon = 12 hours consolidated leave (0600 to 1800 hours)
10/14 Roster:
B Platoon = 8 hours consolidated leave (0001 to 0800 hours)
A Platoon = 10 hours consolidated leave (0800 to 1800 hours)
B Platoon = 6 hours consolidated leave (1800 to 0000 hours)

24 Hour “Ryde” roster:
B Platoon = 8 hours consolidated leave (0001 to 0800 hours)
A Platoon = 16 hours consolidated leave (0800 to 0000 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.

Transfer Registers changing – update #2

SITREP 5/2016 reported on the 2016 Award’s ending of the Clause 28 “three strikes” provision and the immediate removal from transfer registers of members who decline an offer of transfer. We also predicted that vacancies within MN3 would soon result in the dramatic shortening of the Maitland Residential Transfer Register, which it has. There were 53 firefighters on the Maitland Residential Transfer Register on 19 February. Four weeks later there are none. The same now applies for the Broken Hill Transfer Registers and the Union has commenced discussions with the Department for the local recruitment of retained members to fill permanent vacancies – current and expected – within both transfer register areas. This is not a sign that Clause 28’s days are numbered (quite the opposite in fact).

Meal Allowances payable on staybacks – clarification

SITREP 6/16 confirmed that overtime meal allowances payable if you are required to stayback at the end of a recall. It was less clear about at what point the allowance becomes payable. It should have read “overtime meal allowances are paid when more than two hours are worked after the end of a regular shift”. For example a member who stays back after their rostered shift concludes at 0800 hrs and who is relieved and dismissed at 1000 hrs is not entitled to a meal allowance, but if they continue to work past 1000 hrs (even if only for 1 minute) then a meal allowance is payable in full.

Darin Sullivan
President and Acting State Secretary

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



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