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FBEU SITREP 6/2015

Update for NSW firefighters via #FBEU SITREP 6/2016

Inside this issue:
February 19, 2016

Inside this issue:

  • New Awards now in force
  • Transfer Registers changing – update #1
  • Meal Allowances payable on staybacks
  • Contamination of FRNSW training sites
  • LSV bailed up

New Awards now in force

The 2016 Permanent and Retained Awards endorsed by members at last year’s AGM commenced operation today. This means wage increases of 2.5% for all members. Most allowances also increased today by 2.5% including (for all members) the kilometre allowance, which is now at $1.22 per km, and (for permanent members) the relieving allowance (up to $32.57) and all qualification allowances.

The new Permanent Award includes numerous changes that were set out and explained in SITREP 34/15, but these are the changes that will affect and/or be of direct interest to most members:

Subclause Summary
8.2.4.3 A Standby is now an Outduty after 8 hours rather than 4, but only if both members are rostered to work a 24 hour shift. If you are working 24 hrs but perform a Standby for someone working the 10/14, then the 4 hour limit still applies.
8.2.4a Confirms the doubling of the Relieving Allowance and Outduties count for 24 hour shifts is both a maximum and a minimum. For example, a member working a 24 hour shift and who performs an Outduty is always now counted as having performed two Outduties, regardless of that Outduty’s duration.
9.3 Any and all time worked in excess of 24 hours is now paid for at double time, not at time and one half for the first two hours and then double time after that.
12.4.1.1 Inspectors can no longer be directed to work outside of their own Fire District.
12.7.2 Clarifies and separates the entitlement to kms for excess travel and kms for the transport of gear, extending payments to members not previously entitled to them.
12.17.1 allows unlimited Outduties for LSOs, but only when acting up to Inspector.
17.3 Requires all members of Inspector rank and below to now be assigned to a leave group and compensated for any subsequent leave group changes that disadvantages you.
17.7 Members stationed at Broken Hill and Moree now receive an additional 22.75 hours per year of consolidated leave.
17.10 OS members now have the additional option of taking rostered annual leave (which, being rostered, won’t be dependent on management approval).
17.11 Members may now swap annual leave “sets of shifts” (ie, four 10/14 shifts, or two 24 hour shifts) either in whole or part, up to three rostered leave periods in advance (thereby allowing members to plan major holidays over twelve months ahead).

 

Clause 12a, Interstate and International Deployments is now officially operative, guaranteeing members who elect to deploy interstate or overseas a minimum of 16 hours’ pay for each day and 112 hours’ pay for each 7 days deployment. Also operative are the new Clause 13 Progression and Promotion and Clause 28 Transfers Outside of the GSA provisions ….

Transfer Registers changing – update #1

Further to last week’s SITREP 5, a long-overdue (and time-consuming) joint overhaul of the Clause 28 transfer registers was completed today and revised registers are now available on the FRNSW intranet. Where identified, former (retired, deceased and/or resigned) members have been removed and errors corrected. The non-duplication of members on both the Residential and General registers and the removal of earlier transferees after two years have also helped make most registers shorter. While care has been taken to ensure the new registers are correct, members are strongly advised to check them and to notify the Union and/or Operational Staffing in the event of a suspected error.

Meal Allowances payable on staybacks

Are overtime meal allowances payable if you are required to stayback at the end of a recall? Yes. Overtime meal allowances are paid two hours after the end of a regular shift because members who work them did not expect to be held back, and therefore did not bring the meals necessary to cover that extra work time. The same principle applies to members on recall who are required to stayback. Members are reminded that unlike incident meal allowances, overtime meal allowances are still payable from petty cash.

Contamination of FRNSW training sites

Commissioner Mullins’ announcement this afternoon regarding possible AFFF contamination at some FRNSW training sites is obviously concerning, but also unsurprising. The contamination of the Williamtown RAAF and other ADF sites has been widely reported upon for some time. The Union has followed these reports closely, but we have been active on the issue for over a decade. More recent members may not be aware that FRNSW’s use of AFFF ceased after the Union banned it in March 2007.

The Union wrote to Mr Mullins last November seeking “an update from the Department on any information that is available about the effect that the use of toxic foam may have had on our members, including any information which may have come to light post 2007”. While Commissioner Mullins has not yet replied to that letter, he did contact me today to brief me on the situation and to assure the Union that he would work closely with us and share all available information. We have continued to monitor the situation since and all developments, including today’s announcement. More to follow.

LSV bailed up

An attempt this week to force the relocation of an LSV was only aborted after the Union was forced to threaten the blunt instrument of industrial action.

Zone management initially sought our agreement for the LSV’s relocation and revised staffing arrangements, and appeared to accept our response – which was to politely but clearly decline to agree on the basis that we already have a comprehensive LSV agreement with the Department. The next we knew, the order had been given to move the LSV anyway. That was followed shortly thereafter by a not so polite FBEU demand to return the LSV asap, and an equally prompt decision by management to do so.

Of course it didn’t need to be like that. The Union was and remains open to discussing change with the Department, but we will not allow standing agreements to be ignored, undermined or worked around.

 

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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