Debate on the Government’s Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment (Firefighters) Bill 2018 resumes when the NSW Parliament returns next week. SitRep 29 reported on the Bill’s failure to cover firefighters who contracted cancer prior to 27 September this year but who had not yet submitted a workers comp claim – firefighters like our member in MN2 who was diagnosed with brain cancer in May this year and given less than 12 months to live. He is one of many serving firefighters who will not be covered by the Government’s Bill, simply because he prioritised surgery and chemotherapy over some legal paperwork.
The Labor Opposition will attempt to amend the Government’s Bill so that all firefighters suffering one or more of the 12 occupational cancers are covered. Will the Coalition accept Labor’s amendments, or will the Berejiklian Government abandon our injured comrades and their families to save a buck? More in SitRep 31.
No working across platoons or rosters
Every permanent firefighter below the rank of Supt works on one (only) of the rosters provided in Clause 8 of Award. Permanent firefighters who are working a roster with more than one shift work on one (only) platoon. Permanent firefighters cannot lawfully work on a different platoon or on a different roster unless:
a) they are on overtime, or;
b) they have entered into an alternative roster agreement with the Department under Award subclause 8.2.2. An alternative roster cannot be agreed to or worked unless all of the provisions of subclause 8.2.2 have been met, including 188.8.131.52 which requires the alternative roster to operate over an 8 week cycle and to be given to both the firefighter and the Union at least 14 days in advance.
The publication of SitRep 28 (see “Z relieving” dead and buried) exposed some expensive management errors, including a regional LSO on A Platoon on the 24 hour roster who was acted up to Inspector for a week working the Special Roster. As explained above, the only way the LSO could work on the Special Roster was (a) by overtime, or (b) by working an alternative roster – and there was no alternative roster drawn up and given to the Union. As a result, the Department must now pay him thousands of dollars in overtime (at the Inspector rate) for the 33.5 hours he worked that week outside of his rostered hours, as well as single time (at his LSO rate) for the 15.5 hours that he was rostered to work on A Platoon that week, but didn’t.
Members who suspect Award breaches or who require further advice should contact the Union office.
In brief …
The recall kilometres arbitration was heard this week, with the IRC’s decision expected to follow shortly.
The Department this week shelved its plans and recommitted to no changes or time penalties for retained mobilisation times while consultation with the Union on the issue continues.
Recent (and until now, confidential) correspondence on the Keelty Tathra review and its recommended communications changes can be read by clicking here.