July 4, 2022
Interim Resolution to Health Checks Dispute – Code Red to Lift
Following a discussion between the FBEU and FRNSW last week we have agreed to an interim resolution regarding our disputes on the Health Checks process.
While this interim resolution is in place the FBEU will be lifting its current Code Red on Health Checks.
The dispute has centred on various and significant concerns raised by Members regarding the Health Checks process which were systemic and ongoing and causing significant distress and difficulty for Members going through the process.
Following on from our discussion with FRNSW we have agreed to an interim 6 week pause on the Code Red in good faith to allow the parties to hold a series of meetings to reach resolution on each item of concern raised by the FBEU. To be discussed and resolved at the meetings are the below key issues:
- Not providing Member outcomes within a reasonable amount of time
- Requests for additional testing/information that is beyond the scope of the Health Standards (i.e., Members results fall within the standards but Medical third party insists on further tests)
- Requests for additional testing/information even when a specialist has cleared the Member (i.e., Medical third party requests a Member see a Cardiologist to do a stress test, the cardiologist reports back saying the test results were normal yet Medical third party disregards the Cardiologist and seeks more tests)
- Medical third party/FRNSW Management of private medical information
- Medical third party /FRNSW Management of paperwork/member information
- Medical third-party communication with Members
- Medical third party /FRNSW’s refusal to allow Members to nominate the FBEU as their support person/representative if desired
- Medical third party failing to apply the standards set out in the Health Standards (i.e., such as using a different standard altogether)
- FRNSW not sending members outcomes in writing once Medical third-party process is complete
- FRNSW requiring Members to undertake additional testing when members have met the required standard
- FRNSW not reimbursing members for additional testing FRNSW requires the Members to undergo
If at any time during the process FRNSW fail to comply with the terms of the resolution or if, at the conclusion of the 6 weeks the matters remain unresolved, the FBEU has reserved its right to reinstate the Code Red.
We hope that with active cooperation and collaboration between the parties on this issue we can reach reasonable and ongoing resolutions to all matters raised.
Reminder FBEU’s Delegate Conference
A reminder that registrations are now open for the upcoming FBEU Delegates Conference.
FBEU Delegates will be meeting in Sydney from 15-16 September to plan for the future and for a campaign to deliver what FBEU members need most: Pay, resources, and safe work practices. The things we need to get the job done safely. Delegates can register here.
Accommodation will be provided for attendees at the conference venue with a dinner to be held on the night of the 15th.
If your Station does not have a Delegate, get in touch via the link and let’s get one elected.
This conference is a vital opportunity for delegates to come together face to face not only for training but to gain a deeper understanding of key issues facing our Profession and to provide direct input into FBEU campaigns and proposals.
I look forward to seeing all delegates there.
FRNSW meets with HSRs to hear Subject Matter Expert advice on COVID-19 Risk Assessment
On Friday FRNSW, HSR’s and the FBEU met in an extraordinary meeting of the Health and Safety Committee to hear from Professor Adrian Esterman and to discuss FRNSW proposed risk assessment regarding COVID-19.
Dr Esterman is a Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiologist at the University of South Australia and provided advice to the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service regarding their COVID-19 risk assessment and vaccine mandates.
At this meeting Professor Esterman provided advice on appropriate risk settings for management of COVID-19 in the workplace. While the professor clearly expressed strong support for vaccination as a control measure for employees, he also advised FRNSW that in his expert opinion, daily RAT testing couple with the wearing of appropriate PPE (i.e., an N95 or P2 mask) gave as much protection in the workplace as vaccination.
Professor Esterman also made clear that the most important risk control measure FRNSW could implement is appropriate controls regarding air quality and air flow in workplaces. More to come on this.
Reminder – FBEU seeking Member input on Safe Work NSW review of Psychosocial Hazards
The FBEU have been contacted by Safe Work NSW seeking feedback. In May 2021 SafeWork NSW released the first Australian Code of Practice on Managing Psychosocial Hazards at work.
Are FRNSW’s current processes working for you? Let us know here.
You can download a copy of the SitRep here