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FBEU SITREP 5/2013 “24 hour roster?”

February 1, 2013

calendar

  •      Flexible annual leave trial – update
  •      Annual leave conversion trial – update
  •      24 hour roster
  •      Operational Capability restructure

Flexible annual leave trial – update

 SITREP 2/2013 reported that the Flexible Leave and Annual Leave Conversion trials were both under review following attempts by the Department to vary the terms agreed to in 2006.

The Union’s State Committee today resolved to give the Department notice of our intention to replace the 2006 trial with a hybrid system whereby all Operational Support members will revert to being assigned a leave group (ie, rostered leave) but will also retain the ability to take leave outside of that leave group with the agreement of management (ie, flexible leave). The intention is that if a member and their manager cannot agree on a particular flexible leave period then rather than being directed by their manager to take their leave at the Department’s convenience and not the member’s (as occurred recently at the College), the member can instead revert to their rostered leave group. If the Department does not agree then the Union will likely terminate the current trial and revert to strict application of the Award.

Annual leave conversion trial – update

Further to the above, the State Committee today also resolved to notify the Department of our intention to replace the 2006 trial with a revised system whereby the present leave groups are changed from A-C and B-D to A, B, C and D (ie, one for each Platoon, but each still containing 8 leave groups) and that the current start dates for each new leave group be amended so that the A and B Platoon leave groups will then start 2 days later and the C and D Platoon leave groups will then start two days earlier.

This change will avoid further disputation over the conversion trial, which was about to be extinguished in any case. It will also overcome the problem with the current leave groups whereby everyone either starts or finishes their leave groups half way through a set of shifts. Instead, members across all 4 platoons will receive 144 hours leave after 168 days and 192 hours leave after 224 days and while the 28 day leave period between a member’s last and first shifts will remain for the ‘short’ leave period, the actual break between a member’s first and last shifts for the ‘long’ leave period extends to 36 days (up from the current 30 days). More to follow.

24 hour roster

Commissioner Mullins’ recent offer in Commish’s Corner to trial a 24 hour roster provided the Union agreed has been taken up by the State Committee, which today voted to record its in-principle support for such a trial. We expect negotiations to commence shortly. Stay tuned.

The adopted State Committee motion is here below:

“That State Committee notes the Commissioner FRNSW’s recent public declaration in his Commish’s Corner publication of his preparedness to entertain the trialing of a 24 hour roster subject to the Union’s agreement to do so and accordingly records its in-principle support for such a trial, subject to the following conditions:

a)      that the 24 hour roster would operate from 0800 to 0800 over an eight day cycle, with one day on to be followed by one day off to be followed by one day on to be followed by the remaining days off;

b)      that subclause 8.11 which precludes members working in excess of 16 hours straight would be suspended for the period of the trial, but only for those members who were participating in it;

c)      that no member could be required to work the 24 roster without their consent;

d)      that any member who withdrew their consent would be returned to their pre-trial roster within 14 days;

e)      that the trial need not operate across the whole membership, nor even across whole areas, zones or stations and that the only requirement for the roster to operate would be for there be at least one member per station, per platoon participating in the trial; and

f)       that the trial could be terminated by either the Union or the Department with 14 days’ written notice.”

Operational Capability restructure

The Department’s restructure of the Operational Capability Directorate (a.k.a. Specialised Ops) which was to be implemented next Monday, 4 February 2013 has been postponed after Union intervention to allow further discussions to occur. The Union remains hopeful that an agreed position can be reached, and will be meeting further with the Department next week. More to follow.

Darin Sullivan
President and Acting State Secretary

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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