Sitrep 7/2023: Bargaining, Meal Allowances and State Election
February 10, 2023
Yesterday I, along with President Mick Johnsen and Senior Industrial Officer Rini Krouskos, met with FRNSW for our second bargaining meeting where, in line with SGM outcomes, we presented our log of claims. FRNSW were receptive to some concepts but indicated they were not prepared to accept the majority of our claims, including wages and the compensation for the 0.3% pay rise from a couple of years ago.
Given the complexity and level of reform proposed in our log of claims, at the meeting we put forward a schedule of meetings to continue discussing each item.
FRNSW did not agree to our proposal and instead doubled down on their position for a roll over award with a 2.53% wage increase, a position they today filed with IRC despite being two weeks away from expiry.
Despite their efforts every year to try and push unpopular changes through their log of claims, this year they have interestingly decided not to pursue any changes and to shut down discussion on any reform by filing their Award before further meetings could be held.
We will continue pursuing our log of claims and will lodge our own versions of the Awards with the IRC shortly.
Unpaid Meal Allowances Claims
The FBEU has received multiple queries in relation to rejection of meal allowances for both permanent and retained staff.
The FBEU met with FRNSW on Tuesday to discuss the multiple reports of rejections of meal allowances. We will provide more information soon for any staff who have had their allowances rejected.
In the meantime, the FBEU advises members to keep applying for meal allowances that you believe you are eligible and to keep track of any rejections.
The FBEU will update you in the coming weeks about next steps.
State Election and Bargaining Campaign
The weeks preceding the NSW State Election are going to be an important time for the FBEU and for engagement with members.
Last week’s SGMs have set in motion an Award bargaining strategy. Running parallel to this, is a much broader political campaign aimed at ensuring Professional Firefighters are top of mind at the polls in March. More to follow on this next week. In the meantime, we ask all members to keep the following pre-poll dates free for campaign activities in key locations from the 20th – 25th March.
Members looking to get active before this are encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Union Office will be in touch next week.
A printable version of this Sitrep can be downloaded here.