Sitrep 38: Updates on Award negotiations and Covid vaccination policy
August 4, 2023
Award Negotiations Update
Award negotiations are continuing to progress closer to final resolution.
This week we returned to the IRC for further conciliation regarding health checks. This was becoming a real sticking point for resolution of the Awards. Members obviously know the real failings of the current system and the IOP process and it was vital that these matters were resolved.
Through conciliation we were able to continue to press our case for a much simpler, less stressful, and non-punitive health screening program that provides for voluntary PFAS/PFOA testing along with appropriate cancer screening. Those discussions were positive (although we are awaiting further written confirmation from FRNSW regarding their final position).
Outside of new health screening program, we are also moving towards positive resolution on matters including automatic triggers for promotion, safe minimum staffing numbers, comprehensive consultation, classification of and appropriate payment for non station-based positions along with numerous minor changes to all three Awards.
I hope to be able provide a full update on resolutions to you within the next couple of weeks.
Covid-19 Vaccination Policy and the Vaccination and Screening Policy
Last Friday we submitted our feedback regarding FRNSW’s proposed Vaccination and Screening Requirements Policy which will replace the current Covid-19 Vaccination Policy.
This new proposed policy would no longer mandate a Covid-19 Vaccination for most employees at FRNSW.
As you can see, our feedback does not object to FRNSW’s proposed vaccination requirements for different work groups.
We are now waiting for a response to our feedback and confirmation from FRNSW as to whether the policy will be implemented. We are also seeking confirmation as to what arrangements will be in place for those of you who are currently excluded from the workplace as a result of the current Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements Policy.
As a reminder, these proposed policy changes do not alter the current misconduct processes regarding failure to comply with the current Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements Policy, these processes will continue to a conclusion.