SitRep 48/2021

August 31, 2021

Level 4 Restrictions remain 

Last week, the Industrial Relations Commission released its decision on the 2021 Awards. Disappointingly but unsurprisingly, the Full Bench upheld the Government’s legislated wage increase of 0.3% over our claim of 2.5% based on FRNSW’s funding model. The rise will however be backdated to 25 February 2021. There were many parts of your Awards, which were built on the member survey conducted in 2019 prior to negotiations beginning, which we have successfully advocated for and have been agreed on by FRNSW and the IRC. 

The agreed outcomes include: 

  • Ability for injured Permanent Firefighters to be placed in Operational Support roles
  • Union leave to attend D&D Board meetings both Permanent and Retained Awards; 
  • Private vehicle includes transport by way of bicycle in the Retained Award;
  • Removal of the word “volunteer” from clauses 21.1 and 21.4 of the Retained Award;
  • Allow a Retained firefighter when on leave to keep their attendance percentage at the rate prior to going on leave;
  • Update the year of the Regulation from 2008 to 2014 in the Retained Award; 
  • Replace the words ‘Permanent’ and ‘Retained’ for “FRNSW Firefighter” in the Retained Award;
  • Where an Operational Support Level 1 and 2 position cannot be filled by Permanent Firefighters, then the FRNSW Commissioner, can allow Retained Firefighters with 48 months service to apply for the position.
  • Single days of leave are now allowed by default for Retained. Currently, you must gain special permissions for single days of leave.

And we continue discussions on other parts of the log of claims, including: 

  • Retained to Permanent pathway – 20% of each general intake for Retained (agreed by both parties in principle, details being worked through)
  • E-Recall system for Retained staff (agreed by both parties in principle, details being worked through)
  • Engine Keepers added back into the Retained Award (no agreement yet, but direction is promising)
  • HAZMAT + Rescue allowances in the Retained Award (discussions continuing)
  • Cancel payments for strike teams in the Retained Award (discussions continuing)
  • Career progression based on skills not years in the Retained Award (discussions continuing)
  • Country Relief definition and model for Permanent Firefighters.

The FBEU is always working to improve the lives of our members, and we will be continuing our discussions on these items prior to the new Awards being finalised. We will keep you updated. 

In Unity,

Martin Dixon
Acting State Secretary

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