Sitrep 8/2023: Award negotiations, Campaign Launch, Senior Officers’ Subbranch Meeting

February 17, 2023

Award Update

While members have been busy doing the job of FRNSW and campaigning to show the public how underfunded and under resourced we are (see below), the Department has been busy trying to stop fair negotiations for an Award to improve not just wages and conditions, but also vital issues such as training, promotions and consultation.

As per the all staff email from last week, FRNSW are very keen to talk about their “generous” offer to give everyone a 2.53% wage increase – while inflation is running at 7.8% – and were very keen to push this position forward in the IRC without any real negotiation of your log of claims.

The Department’s offer to members is in effect a 5.27% real wage cut with no additional or improved conditions.

After only two bargaining meetings with us, and only one where your log of claims was presented to them, FRNSW sought to cut off further negotiation and filed their Awards in the IRC.

This was not our preference. It was our position that the parties should come together to fully discuss your Awards and the comprehensive reforms we are proposing, particularly given many of these claims are cost neutral.

Given FRNSW’s actions in filing in the IRC, the FBEU has also filed our preferred Award. A Directions hearing was held yesterday where we reiterated our position that we believe that genuine good faith negotiation should occur between us and FRNSW, prior to the need for the involvement of the IRC.

This was the ultimate outcome before the Commission, with the matter on 1 March 2023 and meetings between FBEU and FRNSW to occur in the meantime.

We are in the process of scheduling meetings with Department representatives between now and 1 March. While we did propose that we meet daily from yesterday, it seems their representatives are not available to accommodate this and have instead proposed two meetings in total. We are working with the Department to see if we can get some additional meetings with them so they can give actual consideration to what you want from your Awards.


Campaign Launch

When time’s not on your side, we are

This week the FBEU launched our broader political campaign highlighting the regressive action taken by the State Government in attacking firefighting conditions and community protection.

With the NSW State Election only a few weeks away, it’s time for FBEU members to send a strong message to the Perrottet Government. This Government has:

  • Failed to recruit and train appropriate numbers of firefighters
  • Failed to build new stations where they are needed the most
  • Slashed budgets providing for the things we need to get the job done
  • Attacked our wages and conditions of employment

The campaign launch commences with a significant media blitz in key marginal seats across the State via organised digital and print media, as well as radio. Follow these links to view the ad on Facebook and YouTube, and see the website where the community can automate a campaign email to their local MP. 

 Initial campaign events are being organised in key marginal seats. Members are encouraged to RSVP for the following, with further particulars to be provided in due course:

  1. Camden/Leppington FBEU event– Monday 27 February 6pm 
  2. Tweed FBEU event– Wednesday 1 March 6pm 
  3. Goulburn FBEU event– TBA 
  4. Heathcote FBEU event– TBA 
  5. Nominate your own electorate

Senior Officers’ Subbranch Meeting

There are a number of issues that are impacting on our Senior Officers Sub Branch members at the moment. These ultimately affect all FBEU members. As such there is an SOSB meeting next Wednesday 22nd of February at 1030 hrs. This meeting will be held in the Heritage Room of the Teacher’s Federation House, 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills. All SOSB members are encouraged to attend in person, however, a Zoom option will be available for members who are unable to travel to Sydney to attend. There will also be an SOSB communication regarding this.

In Unity,

Leighton Drury
State Secretary


A printable version of this Sitrep can be downloaded here.