SitRep 38/2024

June 16, 2024



Although today’s announcement of fixing the structural funding deficit is welcomed, it only fixes one of the many issues facing FRNSW, which includes station amenities, an ageing fire truck fleet, lack of presumptive cancer legislation, and below average wages and conditions, all of which are still problems.

Members would be well aware of the patience and restraint we have displayed while waiting for the Minns Government to finalise its public sector wages offer only to be presented with a baseline offer that does not come close to addressing the inflationary pressures we are facing. In the interim, we have been negotiating with FRNSW and the Government in good faith, spending countless hours identifying cost savings and productivity improvements which satisfy the new Mutual Gains Bargaining requirements.

We have identified and proven to the Government that we are not being remunerated for important work we do daily, such as assist ambulance and road crash rescue, only to be told by the Minns government, “the work FBEU members do in these areas provides no savings anywhere within NSW and is not worth anything.” In other words, the Minns government thinks the labour, expertise and 24/7 availability we provide every day to the community of NSW by doing the work of other agencies is worthless. 

We know our value and we know how much we are worth. We must now be prepared to draw a line in the sand and make the tough decisions to say enough is enough, and that as a workforce we will be Respected, Protected, and Valued.

Over the coming weeks, we will be asking members to take industrial action that won’t be popular with the public, other emergency services, the department, and most certainly with the Minns government. Some of the actions planned will be challenging for our members, but we must be prepared to stay strong to achieve what will not only benefit us, but ultimately will also benefit the people of NSW.

We have been forced into a situation that none of us want to be in. We need to be determined, united, and resolute in taking these serious steps to clearly articulate that without us, NSW suffers.

Now is the time to think of your fellow FBEU members, your colleagues, your families, your rising mortgages, rents and costs of living. Now is the time to stand up and demand this MINNS Labor government do better for firefighters. Now is the time for them to RESPECT, PROTECT, and most importantly, to VALUE us. 

These targeted industrial actions will commence this coming Friday 21 June.

I ask any off-duty members who live in the Sydney Metro, Central Coast, Illawarra and Newcastle to contact their local FBEU sub-branch secretary for details of how you can assist in this fight for wage justice. Members working on Friday will be contacted by a SCOM representative to provide details.

Industrial action will escalate going forward should the Minns government continue to ignore our demands for fair wages and conditions. More to follow.


In Unity,

Leighton Drury
State Secretary

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