SitRep 26/2019

October 18, 2019

  • Award Discussions Commence
  • Tamworth Australasian Firefighter Championships and Visits in Western NSW and City

Award Discussions Commence

As reported in SitRep 24 the first Award discussion was held last week. The Department has put forward a number of ideas for the Permanent Award, in the first instance.

We are heading into negotiations under the Liberal Government Wages policy, again. In addition, as we have reported a number of times, the Government has cut the budget of FRNSW.

We have surveyed members and SCOM Reps have met together and had discussions with you too. FBEU members overwhelmingly want to see no Trade Offs or reductions in terms.

The Department has put the following areas to us for consideration and discussion as part of Award negotiations:

  • Consider improving flexible work arrangements for fire fighters. As an example this could include the option of banking additional days off by working extra shifts; developing more flexible rosters in operational support areas, looking at flexible temporary or auxiliary work arrangements to support short term shortages or increased demand for fire-fighting work during peak fire seasons.
  • Consider ways to improve career development and progression within operational support areas.
  • Resolve the future pay arrangements for ‘intrastate’ deployments to ensure consistency with other deployment types.
  • Removing some restrictive work practices: such as flexibility to change rosters for training and acting-up; removing the 28 day restriction on acting up and looking to see if the transfer list system can be improved and made more equitable;
  • Explore options that may support permanent firefighters to work as retained firefighters.

The FBEU has yet to respond to the position and discussion points of your employer. Discussion with members will take place at the upcoming AGM (and associated Sub-Branch Meetings) about where to from here – that said the FBEU has heard clearly that members are not willing to make reductions in terms or enter into trade-offs.

We are also very alert to the fact that while the Employer speaks of “flexibilities” we need to make sure we resist any proposed changes that could see negative impacts on FBEU members.

We look forward to discussing the Award at the upcoming AGM and satellite meetings – dates, times and locations coming soon.

We have meeting scheduled with FRNSW over the coming weeks to begin negotiations proper and myself, other SCOM Reps and staff will negotiate with your employer.

Tamworth Australasian Firefighter Championships and Visits in Western NSW and City 

Myself, President Mick, Senior Vice President Trevor and our organiser Georgie have spent the past few days in Tamworth at the Australasian Firefighter Championships.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting more of our members and watching the exciting competitions unfolding on the field. Massive thank you to the Firefighting Championships Association for all the work that you’ve done in the lead up to this event and we’ll see you next time.

This week Max has been out and about visiting members in Walgett, Dubbo, Bourke, Parkes, Lightning Ridge and Cobar. All stations have committed to getting more organised and active and have all committed to working as a group across the zone to resolve issues at a zone level.

All the members at the stations were excited about the opportunity to have regional stations be better placed with dealing with issues and to putting them on the front foot. The main issues reported from the members were around lack of adequate training, lack of equipment/appliances and fatigue.

Emily has completed a first round of visits in the Inner City Sub Branch and is following up with contacts at every station to assist members to be more active, organised and having opportunities to participate.

Over the coming weeks and months the organizing team will be out and about in permanent and retained stations (and all workplaces). I encourage you to get along and meet them, they are doing a terrific job and it’s great for your elected representatives to have their assistance.

Leighton Drury

State Secretary

You can download this SitRep here.



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