SITREP 21/2016

July 8, 2016

  • Meal and travel allowances increased on 1 July 2016
  • Reminder: Union dues are tax deductible
  • New Country Rosters update #1
  • Retained EOB entries

Meal and travel allowances increased on 1 July 2016

As occurs each year, certain allowances in both the Permanent and Retained Awards increased on and from 1 July. Click here for a table containing the new meal and travel allowances, as confirmed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) this week.

The allowances have been determined at a level consistent with the reasonable allowance amounts for the 2016/17 financial year, as determined by the ATO and the Sydney CPI increase for the March quarter. Members are entitled and advised to claim the new rates immediately and back to 1 July.

Reminder: Union dues are tax deductible

Members are reminded that Union dues are fully tax deductible and should be claimed as a work-related expense in annual tax returns. Members will shortly receive their FRNSW Payment Summary, which should include the amount of Union dues paid (and to be claimed) for the 2015/16 year.

New Country Rosters update #1

Further to SITREP 13, the Department this week agreed in-principle to trial the Union’s proposed rosters for Station Officers and permanent firefighters at Special Roster stations, and for non-24/7 (ie, 4 platoon) Inspectors – albeit subject in both cases to the Union’s agreement that the ordinary 42 hour week will continue to be worked.

The revised S/O and 3 “Country Roster” will see participating members working 0800 to 1700 Monday to Thursday every week and 0800 Friday to 0800 Saturday (ie, a 24 hour shift) every fourth week. The “Country Inspectors’ Roster” will see participating Inspector members working three weekday shifts from 0800 to 1700 and one weekday “long” shift from 0800 to 2300, thereby allowing their attendance at retained drill periods, etc.

Participation in these trials will be subject in all cases to agreement by a majority of the members at each location, including retained members in the case of the Country Roster. The Union is now negotiating the details of these trials and expects to be able to provide a further update in SITREP 22.

Retained EOB entries

The Union receives many calls each week about EOB (Electronic Occurrence Book) entries for retained activities. One of the benefits of the new retained SMART system has been the elimination of the need for duplicate entries. The Union successfully argued that only non pay-related entries are now required in the EOB, with all pay-related activities instead being entered only into SMART. There is nothing wrong with a member still entering everything into both the EOB and SMART if they choose to, but it is not necessary and members should certainly not be directed to do so. Any retained member who is instructed otherwise is advised to contact the Union for further advice and assistance.

Darin Sullivan
President and Acting State Secretary

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



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