FBEU SITREP 9/2013 “FRNSW abandons agreement”

March 6, 2013


Inside this issue:

  • Retained Award application
  • New disciplinary Regs: Dept abandons agreement, and fairness




Retained Award application

SITREP 8/13 reported on the Union’s application for a new Retained Award following the nominal expiration on 21 February of the 2011 Award (which nonetheless remains in force until it is replaced). A copy of the Union’s 2013 Award application, showing all changes from the 2011 Award in red type, can now be downloaded by clicking here.

Membership feedback on our awards is a live and ongoing process, with all member suggestions over the preceding 2 years having been taken into consideration by the Retained Sub-Branch Executive and State Committee of Management in formulating our 2013 application. If a member’s suggestion has not been included in our application then it should not be assumed that the suggestion was ignored, but rather that the RSB Executive and State Committee could not, on balance, support it. Needless to say we will continue to invite and welcome member comments/suggestions not only throughout the negotiations for this Award, but also over the following three years through to our 2016 Award claim.

The Union’s application is now listed for mention before IRC Vice-President, Justice Walton next Tuesday, 12 March. Much more to follow.

New disciplinary Regs:
Dept abandons agreement, and fairness

The 2011 Awards included an agreement “that negotiations will commence for a new disciplinary Regulation to replace the current preliminary and formal inquiry process with a streamlined process which otherwise maintains all existing members’ rights and protections, as set out within the Regulation, FRNSW Standing Orders and the Awards. The parties agree that the new process should be both simpler and quicker and with this in mind will, where possible, include minimum time frames, as well as the capacity for appeal to the Industrial Relations Commission.”

Brief negotiations in late 2011 led nowhere, and nothing more was heard until October 2012 when we were handed a draft Regulation with a proposed start date of 1 January 2013. The Procedural Guidelines referred to in the proposed Regulation were provided only after the Union wrote in November 2012. For members interested, copies of both can now be downloaded by clicking here, but beware – far from being streamlined, the proposed Guidelines are some 60 pages long!

Contrary to our 2011 agreement, the proposed Regulation and the Guidelines do not maintain members’ existing rights and protections and for this reason, the Union notified the Industrial Relations Commission of yet another dispute last November. The making of the new Regulation was suspended pending further conciliation as the result of a recommendation to that effect from IRC President, Justice Boland.

The parties returned to the IRC for further conciliation last Friday afternoon. Regrettably, but true to form, the Department made it clear that it is not prepared to entertain any change and further, that it now intended to ram the new Regulation through regardless. The Union has until this Friday to notify the IRC President of our intentions. Stay tuned.

Darin Sullivan
President and Acting State Secretary

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am 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. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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