Sitrep 2/18 advised members to not undertake the new fitness drill before we had been able to resolve some outstanding issues, including confirmation of the Union’s position that retained members are not required to attend one annual fitness drill per station, and can instead undertake the drill at time of their own choosing provided they do so with at least one other member present.
The other issue still in dispute is the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) that the Department introduced without notice or consultation. The Union has no objection to the PAR-Q as an information tool, but we do not agree that members should be required to fill out their details or sign what the Department has since re-named the Firefighter Activity Readiness Questionnaire.
The Department agrees that both issues require further discussion and members are therefore advised to not sign the FAR-Q or undertake the fitness drill until further notice.
The health and fitness testing program returns to the IRC next Thursday when the details of the mandatory health checks to be conducted will be considered and possibly settled. More in Sitrep 7.
Northern Rivers and Cyclone Debbie – update #7
The Department blamed its failure last month to make the expected Northern Rivers/Cyclone Debbie backpayments (see Sitrep 3/18) on difficulties it was experiencing in avoiding double payments. With those problems apparently overcome, FRNSW has since advised that any remaining members who had not been paid their entitlements by 1 March will now be paid next week, on 15 March.
Recalls and kms – update #2
Rumours abound since our last report in Sitrep 4/18 that the Union and Department are currently in discussions over our recall kms advice, or that the issue is now in the IRC. Neither is true. The Department hasn’t said boo to us about recall kms since Sitrep 3/18 came out on 16 February, although it does appear to be using these alleged discussions as an excuse to not process our members’ claims for backpay. There is no dispute as far as we are aware, but if they’re not going to pay our members or talk to us then we’ll approach them about it all next week.
On matters seemingly related, the Union will also be asking for answers about the Department’s e-Recall trial that appears to have sunk without trace after an abortive launch on 19 February. Again, the Union has been neither consulted nor informed about the reasons for this, but we presume they’re blaming subclause 9.8.1. How a four year old Award clause that they agreed to could de-rail a system they’d been developing for months is anyone guess, but it’s certainly not our fault. More in Sitrep 7.
For a printable copy of this Sitrep, please click here.