June 11, 2021
- COVID-19 Alert For Regional NSW
- HSU Ambulance Division Strike Action
- Retained Pagers Rollout
- Farewell, Georgie!
COVID-19 Alert For Regional NSW
Due to a recently confirmed case of COVID-19 traveling through regional NSW, NSW Health has issued the following public health alert. We ask that all members read the alert which includes information about exposure sites and follow the instructions if applicable. All FRNSW Zones remain at Level 1 but please continue to check the FRNSW Intranet for any changes and we will continue to monitor any developments closely. A reminder that personal and workplace hygiene remain a priority and practices should be maintained.
HSU Ambulance Division Strike Action
Yesterday HSU Ambulance Division (ADHSU) members took industrial action in their fight for fair wages. NSW Ambulance workers are the lowest paid paramedics in the country and, as FBEU members working alongside them would know, they are also incredibly under-resourced. You can read more about the action here.
The NSW Government tried to head off the action by asking ADHSU members to ‘wait for the budget’ in two weeks, by which point there would be no room for negotiation, but after years of wage caps on public workers’ pay and last year’s effective pay cut, the Government hasn’t exactly earned any trust on this issue.
Action becomes necessary when the Government continues to short-change workers and the community, putting lives at risk, and the FBEU supports the action taken by the ADHSU members. This is a shared and important fight across emergency services – solidarity!
Retained Pagers Rollout
In March this year, FRNSW proposed to introduce a new pager system for Retained staff and there is currently a very limited trial being undertaken by eight stations.
The new pagers are being marketed as having 4G and paging technology in the one device meaning there is redundancy within the device should one of the two paging methods fail.
We’ve raised several concerns about the new system including FRNSW’s plan to stop the use of mobile phones, potential tracking of the devices, requirements to indicate attendance or otherwise on the devices, battery life, fire risks while charging, their impact on RTAS payments, and wider industrial concerns about Retained response times.
We will not be agreeing to these devices being rolled out more broadly until these concerns are properly addressed.
To help us ensure any potential rollout does not disadvantage members in any way, we need your feedback – this includes both Retained staff who already have the device as part of the trial as well as anyone else who has concerns they would like to be considered. You can contact FBEU Industrial Officer Giacomo Arnott via firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
Yesterday we said farewell to FBEU Organiser Georgie Slater after two years with us. Georgie has been an integral part of implementing the organising model, covering her patch with enthusiasm and determination, as well as organising around important collective issues and supporting SCOM.
As anyone who has been lucky enough to work with Georgie will know, she is fiercely committed to improving workers’ rights and conditions by using our collective strength and I know that she is immensely proud of the delegates she has worked with and how their networks have grown. Witnessing new delegates in areas previously without one as well members positively engaging or reengaging with the Union is testament to her organising work.
I would like to thank Georgie for her contributions to our Union and wish her good luck as she takes on her next role.
You can download this SitRep here.
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