SitRep 66/2021

December 7, 2021

Vaccination Mandate

Members will be aware that FRNSW sent correspondence to all staff last Friday 3rd December including an amended mandate policy.

The correspondence cited ‘extensive consultation’ with both HSRs and the FBEU. This is fundamentally incorrect and more so disingenuous.

Last Monday 29 November, FRNSW met with the HSR Committee to discuss consultation requirements under the WHS Act in relation to the COVID-19 risk assessment. Concerns from workers across the state were taken on notice by FRNSW along with an undertaking from the employer to respond in writing. No formal response from FRNSW has been received to date.

As an independent umpire, Safework NSW have encouraged FRNSW to consult in good faith. This means actively involving workers in decision-making. FRNSWs continued disregard for worker consultation is deeply alarming and out of step.

It is similar with the COVID-19 vaccination policy. There has not been genuine consultation on the policy and this leaves workers worse off than they need to be. This is about process. There must be a fair process to protect the conditions of members. Some of the conditions we are asking for are:

  1. Ability for members to use their own leave if waiting for an alternative TGA approved vaccine
  2. A right of return within 12 months from separation if circumstances have changed.

These are not major requests, nor burdensome on the employer or affect the mandate timeline.

The FBEU have written to FRNSW this afternoon requesting a meeting to resolve these issues. More to follow.

In Unity

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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