February 19, 2021
- Award Update
- Home Fire Safety Visits
- e-Recall Review
- Authorised Duties
- State of the Stations
- FBEU State Committee Election
Last year, members voted on a log of claims and we have pursued this throughout our negotiations with FRNSW. In response, FRNSW has brought little to the table. They are pressing for a 0.3% increase and a rollover agreement, nothing further.
As you know, your Award expires on 25 February 2021. We believe that you deserve more than what’s on offer and your Award negotiating team has taken the time to explore all possible options available to help us achieve a decent pay increase and improvements to your conditions.
We are currently preparing an Award application to file which will include the endorsed log of claims. We understand your employer is doing the same.
To be clear, this is an application and we’ll be sharing it with members shortly as continue to work with you all on this.
Home Fire Safety Visits
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSV) are beginning to recommence across NSW but we’re receiving feedback from members concerned about how this is occurring.
It’s been reported that KPIs/targets have been disseminated to stations with a certain number of visits to be completed each shift. We have never been consulted on such targets.
It’s also been reported that retained stations are being encouraged to undertake HFSV on return from an incident. This is at odds with the Award and health and safety protocols.
We also have concerns around the lack of genuine risk assessment undertaken on HFSV.
FRNSW’s own policy on HFSV states, “When in doubt, stay out”. We encourage members to follow this.
As noted in SitRep 20/2019, FRNSW confirmed that it will not discipline firefighters who do not conduct HFSV when they have concerns about their safety. If you experience anything that contradicts this, please contact the Union as a matter of urgency.
Our first priority is always the safety of our members. We are seeking a meeting with FRNSW to discuss members’ concerns and will update you on any progress.
We had our first meeting with FRNSW this week to discuss the long overdue review of the e-Recall system and the many issues members have raised with us including around:
- New recruits and how they enter the system
- How recalls are offered
- The issue of penalty hours
- 8-hour minimum break and how it applies to recalls
- Excessive kilometres
From this meeting, FRNSW has agreed to:
- Work with the FBEU to come up with a less punitive rule for when members miss a call from the inspector but are able to call back within a few minutes.
- Provide us with a copy of the help page in SAM that details the e-Recall procedures.
- For consultation purposes, provide us with a draft FAQ document that will address many of the questions members have about e-Recall generally.
We expect to receive FRNSW’s draft FAQ document by end of next week. We’ll meet with them again after this as part of an ongoing process.
Authorised hours are an award entitlement – 6.6 of the Retained Award outlines that each station shall be allowed not less than a certain number of hours, partly based on how many appliances are at your station and how many calls you attend per year.
Assigning a station budget that provides for less authorised hours per month than the award entitlement means Retained members are having their potential wages stolen and communities are seeing less of their firefighters than they should.
Part of the issue both in setting the budgets and trying to figure out the correct number of authorised hours is the unreliability of figures used by our employer. This is part of ongoing discussions with the Department.
Members may be best placed to work out how many hours your station is entitled to under the Award. To help you do that, we’ve created a calculator where you can input the number of appliances and number of calls at your station. You can download it here and store it on your share drive at the station for all to view.
If your station management are refusing to provide you or your crew with any award entitlements, or you have any questions about authorised hours, contact the Union Office.
For more background info on authorised hours, see SitRep 1/2021, 34/2020 and 4/2020.
State of the Stations Audits
State of the Stations audits are coming in thick and fast – thank you to everyone who’s gotten theirs in! We’ve already used some of the info provided on both the FBEU and the Fix our Fire Service Facebook pages.
Your stories will build momentum and generate discussions. Ultimately, we will create the State of the Stations Report to educate and lobby supporters and decision makers.
We need ONE audit for every station/workplace. If you have multiple delegates/HSRs based at your station, please talk together so that you don’t double up. If you don’t have a delegate at your station, speak with your organiser to make a plan.
Max Murphy – Regional West, Metro West, MS3 – email@example.com 0408 617 217
Georgie Slater – Metro North, Regional North, ME3 – firstname.lastname@example.org 0417 924 151
Jonathon Wright – Metro South (excl. MS3), Regional South, ME1 and ME2 – email@example.com 0419 753 305
FBEU State Committee Election
Election notices have now been mailed out and stations/workplaces should receive them early next week. Please put them up on the union noticeboard when you receive them.
Nominations open Tuesday 23 February 2021 and notices will also be distributed electronically then.
Another reminder to update your address with the Union Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or use this form if you need to. We need your current address on our system to ensure the electoral commission can provide you with voting materials.
You can download this SitRep here.