As Members may have seen from FRNSW emails regarding Award negotiations, the FBEU have indeed proposed a Medical First Response clause in response to the claim by the Department to implement an allowance to Members performing PAD work.
As you may recall, the Department in this round of negotiations, proposed a clause which would effectively pay an undetermined allowance, to an undetermined number of Members, from an undetermined number of stations, to perform PAD. The determination of who, where and under what system of remuneration, was to be left to Members to decide based on how much you want to give up of your current conditions to pay for the privilege of performing this extra work on behalf of your Employer.
The proposed clause did not in any way outline how the PAD Program would be delivered and resourced including the provision of training and support for Members who participated.
The FBEU advised Management very clearly that the proposed clause was ill thought out and would not be accepted. The Department requested that we consider whether an alternative position could be put on this matter to find a resolution. In our opinion a working party is the best way forward.
While there may have been previous working parties, none have been established under the Award creating enforceable obligations on both parties to complete the work required to implement such a large-scale program as Medical First Response/PAD.
This working party would have representatives from both FBEU and the Department and would be tasked with developing a model Medical First Response Program after considering all relevant aspects of such a program including:
· Welfare / support to employees
· Health and Safety including additional risks/hazards to employees.
· Insurance/protection from liability.
The working party would be tasked with making a recommendation by consensus to both the FBEU and FRNSW Management regarding a program with implementation of the program then requiring agreement from both parties. In line with the outcome of the Annual General Meeting of 2019 this would then ensure any such proposal returns to the Members for consideration prior to implementation.
The FBEU wishes to be clear that we are not seeking to block initiatives by the Department, we want to grow and build our fire service and continue to serve the community. If PAD is the correct and best way forward to achieve this, then we hope the working party will be able to make this recommendation to both the Membership and FRNSW Management for consideration.
We will not however, agree to trade off conditions to pay for these initiatives and nor will we allow a new program to be implemented which poses a risk to the health and safety of our Members, until all matters relevant to the program have been worked through in consultation with you. To date the Department have rejected this alternative proposal as put by the FBEU. Should this position change, we will update Members accordingly.