September 24, 2021
- TOLing Dispute
As you probably all know by now, this week we were in the Industrial Relations Commission fighting a proposal by FRNSW to expand the list of stations that can be temporarily taken off-line due to staffing shortages as per In-Order 2008/22.
We are not talking about a small expansion either – in total, Fire & Rescue NSW wants to add an additional thirty stations to the list. You can view the full list of stations here. (https://fbeu.net/wp-content/uploads/TOL-Stations.pdf)
That is roughly 10% of FRNSW stations, on top of the almost 10% of stations already on the list.
It’s obvious why we’re fighting it. Our communities need an enhancement of Emergency Services not a reduction.
Despite three days of hearings in the IRC, the matter is ongoing and will have a final day of hearing on 17 December. Our Industrial team is working with external legal representatives to continue putting forward the best arguments possible to end this proposal and we will continue to run local media and engage politicians from all sides to apply pressure to a Government who has a clear and blatant disregard to Emergency Services in NSW.
We encourage our members to assist us in this campaign by explaining to family and friends why this is so dangerous, share posts about the matter in local Facebook community groups, tweet about it, write to the Premier, and write to the Minister.
We will not stop until all Fire stations are kept open. At all times.
The FBEU & FRNSW were before the IRC this afternoon to discuss FRNSW’s latest attempt to implement the PAD program without agreement.
FRNSW were again reminded that as ‘new work’ the potential implications of the PAD program required good-faith discussions surrounding the appropriate training, equipment and support required for members to safely and effectively carry out the work proposed in the program.
Since our last update the FBEU have again corresponded with FRNSW in attempts to establish a methodical and evidence-based approach to progressing these discussions in-line with our 2015 general meeting decision.
The Union maintains that the implementation of the PAD program without agreement is a breach of the award and that we will not hesitate to escalate the matter if required.
FRNSW have undertaken to progress discussions with the Union and for the time being Commissioner Baxter’s announcement of an imminent start to PAD is on hold.
Nominees in the upcoming by-election had until midday to withdraw their nominations if they so desired.
I can announce that all nominees for the position of State Secretary withdrew with the exception of one, which leaves Comrade Leighton Drury elected unopposed as State Secretary. Leighton will take up the role of State Secretary immediately.
Sandy Linton, Luke Russell and Mick Johnsen will contest the position of President.
I would like to congratulate Comrade Drury on his election and wish the Presidential nominees all the best in their campaigns.
I urge everyone to ask questions and look into what each nominee stands for before voting. Just because the Secretary position has been decided doesn’t make this a non-event.
Importantly though make sure you vote.
I also urge everyone to put aside personality politics and egos. This is a time for unity and solidarity, not a time for infighting. Our enemy is not internal.
On a personal note I want to thank everyone who has supported me as Acting State Secretary through this tough period.
The FBEU staff in particular. They have been going above and beyond in every conceivable way and I will be forever grateful for their efforts. As we all should be.
It wasn’t an easy job steadying the ship and without the support and encouragement I have been given it would have been impossible.
I will continue on State Committee, back in my role of Inner West Sub Branch Secretary, and will be on hand as needed to ensure a seamless handover to our new Secretary.
You can download a copy of the SitRep here