Sitrep 48 – Awards, Health Checks, TOLing and more
September 22, 2023
In this issue:
- 2023 Award – implementation update
- Current progress on the new Award’s Consultation provisions
- Health Checks to Health Screening – transitioning to the new process
- 2024 Log of Claims – have your say
- TOLBANs and TOLing – vital information for the upcoming bushfire season
2023 Award Update: IRC process
- Last week, both the FBEU and FRNSW attended the IRC where both parties confirmed that we have reached In-Principle Agreement on the Draft 2023 Awards endorsed by you at the recent SGMs.
- Unfortunately, progress on the ratification of our Awards has been slowed down through the Treasury approval process, particularly with the State Budget occurring this week.
- I, along with FBEU President Mick Johnsen, have had several meetings with Minister Dib’s office and relevant Treasury officials (along with FRNSW) to resolve the outstanding funding issues and to move our Awards forward by the IRC.
- Once we have confirmation from Government of the additional funding requirements, the next steps from here are for the Awards to be filed with the IRC, who will then gazette the Awards.
- We have a tentative date before the Commission of 5 October for our Awards to be approved, however that date may be delayed due to the treasury process. I will have more to report on this soon.
- For members who have been asking, pay increase and back pay will not commence until the Award is gazetted by the IRC.
Progress on Consultation provisions
We are continuing to work towards implementing other Award items, in particular the transition to the Health Screening program and the new Consultation provisions.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have been working with FRNSW to begin to establish not just the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) arrangements, but also relevant subcommittees and working parties including:
- PPE/C and Uniform Subcommittee
- Vehicles and Equipment Subcommittee
- Infrastructure Subcommittee
- Training Subcommittee
- Staffing, Resources and Allocation Subcommittee
- Policies and Procedures Subcommittee
- Retained Subcommittee
- New Promotional Pathways Working Party
- Health Screening Transition Working Party
- Country Relieving Working Party
- Retained Renumeration
These committees will be responsible for ensuring that the improvements we have gained through the Awards reforms are implemented.
Health Screening transition
In line with the arrangements outlined above, we have also had our first meeting of the Health Screening Transition Working Party this week.
I am happy to report to you that through the working party we have begun developing a process to transition from the current Health Check program (and its current provider) to the newly adopted Health Screening Process. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks on how these transitions will take effect for those in the current process and for those entering the new process.
In the meantime, we can advise we now have high-level agreement on the following (further advice and detailed communication will follow):
- If you are currently in the Health Checks system but have been deemed temporarily unfit, you will have the option to either complete the process with UHG or transition to an FRNSW provided Occupational Physician to complete your review.
- If you are currently in the Health Checks system and have been deemed fit subject to a review or have received a request for additional information, where you are required to take action in relation to either of these prior to Sunday 3 December 2023, you will have the option to either complete the process with UHG, or transition to an FRNSW provided Occupational Physician to complete your review. If you are not required to act prior to Sunday 3 December 2023, you will have the additional option to complete the process with your own nominated medical practitioner.
- If you are due to commence a health check and have not yet taken any steps, or have commenced (i.e., undertaken pathology etc) but have not yet completed your Health Check and submitted all the requirements to UHG, you will be given the option of completing the process with either UHG, FRNSW Occupational Physician or your own nominated medical practitioner.
- If you are currently overdue to complete your Health Check or to complete a request for additional information/fit subject to review, you will be given the option of completing the process with either UHG, FRNSW Occupational Physician or your own nominated medical practitioner.
All members will receive further detailed information shortly regarding your specific transition requirements. You do not need to take any action until that time, unless you have any referrals that have been made by either UHG or your NMP following your baseline Health Check, as these should not be delayed and should continue to be actioned.
2024 Award Log of Claims
While we are still finalising the 2023 Awards, we have also set our sights on the 2024 Awards.
The Log of Claims for the next round of bargaining is in development but as always, we need your input.
That is why we will once again be asking members to participate in a survey to provide your feedback. The survey will be live until 8th October, and you can have your say here.
We will also be including in the 2024 Log of Claims all relevant items which were not included in the 2023 Draft Awards.
Thank you in advance to all members who fill out the survey. Negotiations on the next Award will be commencing in early November after endorsement of the Log of Claims by members.
TOBANs and TOLing
- In-Order 2008/22, TOLing of Pumpers, is suspended for the duration of any TOBANs (Total Fire Bans). This means that all Pumpers, including Bravo Pumpers, are required to be fully staffed during any period of TOBAN anywhere in the state where that TOBAN applies.
- In-Order 2008/20, Water Tankers, suspends the TOLing of Tankers for the duration of TOBANs. This means that all tankers are required to be fully staffed during any period of TOBAN anywhere in the state where that TOBAN applies. Tankers must also be kept online if:
- a major bushfire is burning within or adjoining the station area,
- in areas where there are no back up stations, the station’s pumper and crew are deployed at a protracted (two hours or more) or distant incident, or
- required by the Area Commander on the basis of a local risk assessment.
- A reminder to all Retained members to inform Zone Management of all shortages the day before the shortage is to occur. FRNSW cannot comply with these in-orders if they don’t know which appliances will be offline. Shortages for even an hour must be reported and filled.
- Even outside of TOBAN days, we encourage you to send through Bravo and Tanker shortages. FRNSW is required to undertake a risk assessment to determine whether to allow those appliances to be TOLed, but FRNSW cannot do that risk assessment unless they know the appliance will be offline.
- Please look after yourselves in the heat. If FRNSW fails to adhere to the above requirements, contact the FBEU immediately.
- SitRep 60/2023 December 1, 2023
- Sitrep 59: IR reform November 27, 2023
- Sitrep 58: ESL review; People Matter survey November 17, 2023
- Sitrep 57: New Presumptive Legislation campaign; Health Screening under fire November 10, 2023
- SitRep 56/2023 November 3, 2023