This dispute went before Chief Commissioner Constant yesterday with both sides putting arguments as to whether the Covid 19 relieving restrictions should remain in place.
The Department argued that money was more important than keeping you safe from Covid 19 and they will be directed by NSW Health guidelines which we know to only be minimums rather than more suitable and scalable protections for firefighters.
The Department has refused to work with the FBEU to determine agreed trigger points on the number of cases and/or hotspots to implement further protections for firefighters. The refusal at this point from the Department to produce any trigger points (of new cases, hotspots etc) for further protections for firefighters is disappointing to say the least and once again shows a lack of care for keeping firefighters safe.
This morning Chief Commissioner Constant handed down Orders stating for the FBEU to withdraw its Code Red issued 7 August 2020 for a period of 14 days, not indefinitely, as the Department was after.
A decrease in new Covid 19 cases tempered by the unpredictability of Covid 19 was the reason cited for this. We agree, and we will accept the decision of the IRC at this time. All members are hereby notified that the Code Red of 7 August 2020 is lifted.
That said, if we see an increase similar to what was being seen when the Code Red first went on, we will act to protect our members once again. Your health and safety comes first. And we know that doing all we can to limit your exposure is good for you, your families and our communities.
Again, I thank all members for their support and solidarity. Keep safe.