This Award round is member led in a way we haven’t seen before. When it comes to your pay and conditions, you determine what we ask for and what action you’re willing to take to get it.
To develop our log of claims, the list of things members want that we take to the bargaining table, we opened up a survey to all members and 1200 of you responded. From those responses, the FBEU’s Award Working Group, made up of staff, elected officials and members from both permanent and retained firefighters, provided recommendations to SCOM who then developed the draft claim – based on what members told us they wanted.
At this year’s AGMs you were asked to vote on the draft claim. The claim was fully endorsed by the membership, with every claim getting up. You can see the results here. This means we begin our negotiations from a place of strength and solidarity, with the membership behind us.
Today was our first negotiating meeting in which we took the log of claims to the employer. The employer does not yet have a claim or a formal position on the claim that we put to them. The employer also hasn’t yet formalised their bargaining parameters with Government Wages Taskforce.
A timeline for meetings was established today. Your negotiating team will meet with the employer weekly from this point onwards.
I would especially like to thank the frontline FBEU firefighters who attended today’s meeting and, alongside staff, are negotiating on all our behalf. It’s great to have our members at the table.
Members of the negotiating team will hold regular briefings with delegates, and we will continue to keep you updated at every step of this process. Ultimately, whatever is negotiated will be put to a vote, and it will be the membership who decides whether to drop parts of the claim, resist the employers’ moves, and/or take industrial action… or not…
This is just the beginning. Generations of firefighters have fought hard to both protect and improve the pay and conditions we have today. We intend to do the same.