SitRep 21/2020

May 1, 2020

  • Work Health and Safety – Consultation with FRNSW
  • First, they come for our roster in the country… and then…
  • Zoom Meetings – highlights this week
  • May Day

Work Health and Safety – Consultation with FRNSW

I need members to do this survey:

We know that Work Health and Safety (WHS) really matters to FBEU members. We also know that some of the biggest issues we face are WHS ones.

Every three years you have the opportunity to enter into discussions with your employer about the structures and systems across NSW in place to keep you as safe as possible at work.

FBEU members who are HSRs and active in WHS need your thoughts about the systems we have now and your ideas so we can make them better.

We need to hear from members about how things are working from your perspective. Please take the 2 minutes to share your thoughts here.

So far those that have done the anonymous survey have said:

  • Fifty-five percent of respondents do not know who their HSR is (45 percent do).
  • Sixty percent say they are very concerned about exposure to toxins. Forty-seven percent say you are very concerned about training and how it relates to safety. Forty-two percent say you are very concerned about Mental Health and exposure to trauma.
  • Other areas of significant concern include: PPE, Amenities, Appliances and processes in place generally in FRNSW to deal with WHS issues.

In addition to the all member survey there is a survey for current HSRS  here( Your views are critical in these discussions because workers are the experts in building work health and safety systems.

First, they come for our roster in the country… and then…

For the past few months the FBEU has been made aware of different zones across the state attempting to change 24hr permanent positions to special roster.

Make no mistake, this is an attempt to cut costs and reduce staffing numbers.

It is important to our whole membership that these positions stay on the 24hr roster. Early next week delegates from the stations facing this issue will be meeting over zoom to discuss the situation, our position and steps going forward.

We ask that our members at Coffs Harbour, Albury, Turvey Park and Katoomba all speak with their station delegates about this over the next few days. We want to ensure that our regional firefighters are included in this conversation every step of the way and we will continue to keep you all updated as this situation continues.

Zoom Meetings – highlights this week

This week we held our SCOM by zoom and if this lot can do it anyone can. Thanks to the SCOM for their participation and for embracing new ways of doing things.

In addition to SCOM we have held a number of meetings of delegates by area and we are also holding meetings around specific issues.

A big congratulations to the retained delegates from RN2 who discussed a number of issues they were facing and worked together with staff and SCOM representatives to resolve them, together in the meeting. This is exactly the kind of things we want to see from a more connected, organised and active FBEU.

Congratulations also to the many brand-new delegates getting involved. We are seeing our delegate numbers grow consistently.

You can see the meeting for this round in SitRep 19.

Please get in touch with the organiser responsible for your area if you need assistance with the Zoom or with electing a delegate.

Our organising team are:

  • Max Murphy – Regional West, Metro West, MS3 – mmurphy@fbeu.net0408 617 217
  • Georgie Slater – Metro North, Regional North, ME3 – gslater@fbeu.net0417 924 151
  • Jonathon Wright – Metro South (Minus MS3), Regional South, ME 1 and ME 2 – jwright@fbeu.net0419 753 305

May Day

The FBEU has a great tradition of participating in May Day activities. May Day is the day we celebrate workers and unions and our achievements and look to the challenges ahead.

This years official May Day marches and events have largely been cancelled or adapted to an online event. You may be interested in participating in this UnionsNSW event tonight (I hear a rumour that Billy Bragg might make an appearance:

This year we held a May Day T-Shirt design competition and we’ll look to change the plan with this and release an FBEU 110-year T-Shirt later in the year. We will be back with more about that in the coming months as we better understand our ability to hold gatherings and events.

May Day is all about solidarity and I am very proud to lead the mighty FBEU as we have faced such incredible times including standing together through the Bushfires, CoVid-19, and all with a returned anti-worker Liberal Government and their wage policy. Solidarity has many meanings. We show our solidarity through this pandemic by following the restrictions to prevent Covid 19. This helps our comrades on the frontline that are dealing with Covid.

Solidarity also means us committing to be strong and organised – always buiding our power. Our building delegate structures and seeing more and more members engaged and active is one of the highlights of my time so far in leading the FBEU. And, we are only just beginning. I thank all those members who have put their hand up as delegates and who have been elected by members in your stations and groups. You are key to us being able to take on the issues that matter most to all members.

Solidarity, Unity, and Happy May Day to all,

Leighton Drury

State Secretary

You can download this SitRep here.



Recent news: