Statewide ban imposed after Department ignores repeat warnings on Stat Decs
SITREP 34/17 included this item:
Statutory Declarations – NSW or Commonwealth update #1
Members in Regional North have recently had their claims for Carer’s Leave rejected because they did not use the statutory declaration form provided by the Department. The Union will sort that, but our advice provided to members in SITREP 28 stands. Members are not required to use the statutory declaration provided by the Department and the Union strongly recommends against using that version as it inserts additional, unnecessary wording that is designed to trap members. Members should instead use the standard NSW statutory declaration form that can be found on our website. The Union is putting the Department on notice that the next Area to reject an FBEU member’s statutory declaration because the member did not use the FRNSW version will be subject to immediate Area-wide bans. Members who find themselves in this situation should contact the Union office asap.
Area-wide bans for permanent members in Regional North were imposed on 11 October after a member’s Statutory Declaration was rejected. As SITREP 35 reported, those bans were then lifted on 13 October after the Department conceded it was wrong and accepted the Stat Dec in question.
The Department reacted to that embarrassment on Wednesday this week by issuing a new direction to all Areas, Regional and Metro, to reject any Stat Dec that is submitted using the Union’s recommended form. It took less than 24 hours before the first Stat Dec had been knocked back, causing the Union to write to the Department this morning to demand the approval of our member’s Stat Dec by 5pm today. The Department waited until 1633hrs to reply that “FRNSW is reviewing the FBEU’s positions and require further time to do so”. Too little and too late. There is nothing to review.
Accordingly, all Permanent members of Inspector rank and below are hereby instructed that no member is to perform any paperwork or administrative duties (including E-Airs, PIP’s, CARS, e-Occurrence book, etc.) other than for firefighter pay or leave related matters.
This instruction is effective immediately upon receipt of this notice today, Friday 27 October and shall remain in place until amended or withdrawn by way of further notice from the State Secretary.
For a copy of the Union’s letter to the Department click here.