SitRep 13/2019

July 22, 2019

  • The Rex – One month away
  • Staff update: Welcome Max to the team
  • Your Say – Survey Highlights
  • STOP PRESS: Home Fire Safety Audits

The Rex – One month away

Tickets are selling fast for the Rex on August 19.

Get your tickets here:

This year the Rex is at a different venue – Dockside at Darling Harbour – all members are invited and we have invited both recent recruits and recent retirees as special guests. The Rex is a great opportunity for firefighters from across different jobs, platoons, and areas to come together and share a drink and a story.

This year is our fifth Rex, we hope you’ll come along and I look forward to seeing you there.

Staff update: Welcome Max to the team

This week welcome Max Murphy to the team. Max is joining Emily, Greg and Georgie in the Organising team. Max is an experienced union organiser who is particularly looking forward to supporting members to build union power and structures across your union.

Emily, Georgie, and Max have spent this week churning through your huge responses to our recent survey to map specifically the information about union meetings and station delegates. We are working with your SCOM to put in place an ambitious plan to support you to build your delegate structures and to train and support your delegates so we can create more ways for your to have an active say in your FBEU.

This week we will farewell Andy Wright from the Public Sector Union in NSW who has been assisting members as an Industrial Officer. We thank the PSA for sharing Andy with us for a period of time and I am happy to report our new industrial officers, Anastasia and Katie, have wasted no time in getting their teeth into things including the emerging issues of Home Fire Safety Checks.

Your Say – Survey Highlights

We asked retained firefighters what you thought the best thing about being a retained firefighter was and perhaps unsurprisingly the most common responses by a very long way were the contributions you make to your community and the comradeship of working as part of a team. And the things that retained firefighters would like most to see change? Your ideas were varied and include: you want respect, better training, career progression, and improvements in pay and conditions.

A huge number of firefighters (both retained and permanent) say you know other emergency and public service workers and most of you who know others in these roles say you speak to them about work, pay and government policy. The FBEU is currently working with other public sector unions, including in the newly established emergency services group to work out ways we can support each other.

Home Fire Safety Audits

As members will be well aware this has been a long ongoing issue dating back to 2015. The FBEU supports community safety initiatives however we have a number of concerns about this type of program, what it means for firefighters and associated resourcing issues. We are concerned about the Department’s approach particularly as we have been advised by a number of members that the department intends to launch a “door-knocking” program today. We also understand they want more than 60,000 Home Safety Audits conducted in the coming year.

I met with FRNSW last Tuesday and in that meeting I asked that FRNSW hold off on publishing connected information to allow me to discuss this with SCOM and other members as part of consultation. After agreeing not to publish the Orders, as I left on Tuesday, management advised they intended to go ahead with publishing.

On Wednesday morning, with no further discussion, the Department had published the Orders put out a media alert and filed in the Commission claiming we would take industrial action.

On Thursday the IRC asked the parties to urgently meet which we did Friday morning. With the assistance of the IRC that afternoon it was agreed that no member would be directed to carry out Home Fire Safety Audits until State Committee have met this Thursday and further meetings with the Department are to be held this week.

The Union has many concerns, which include but are not limited to, safety assessments, quotas, and TOLing of stations, which to be fair may be addressed this week. If you have any concerns or are directed to perform Home Fire Safety Audits please contact your Sub-branch Secretary or the office ASAP. More to follow.

Leighton Drury

State Secretary

Download a printable version of Sitrep 13 here.



Recent news: