PRODUCTIVE FIRST MEETING OF THE 2021- 2024 STATE COUNCIL

UFUSA Max Adlam

It was good to have the first meeting of the new State Council yesterday and there was plenty on the agenda including the SFQ dispute, underpayments, updating on the Safety and Resourcing Campaign, Enterprise Agreement negotiations, UFU staffing, diesel particulates, PFAS, drug and alcohol testing, the MFS Respectful Behaviour Working Party, the MFS Strategic Policy Framework Review and a report on the latest on PPE/C.

That is a lot to report on and I’m told WordBacks are sometimes a wee bit wordy, so I’ll try to give what brief updates I am able on these matters, both in reports below and in WordBacks to come.

Meanwhile we are feeling so proud of our union which is strong and ethical enough to encompass diverse views while staying focused on the best interests of members; as President Chas Thomas said, ” … we clearly have plenty of hard work ahead of us, but it is also clear that we have a great team to keep fighting hard for members.” Yes!

SAFETY AND RESOURCING CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Over the last few months, we have endeavoured to continue negotiations on the Enterprise Agreement, while also meeting with the Chief Officer on WHS matters. To allow these meetings to happen, in good faith, we lifted our industrial bans and limitations.

However, ongoing employer refusal to address the very real budgetary concerns in the resourcing of the Service, the demands for trade-offs and “efficiencies” in return for an unspecified but meagre pay rise – 1% got a mention at the last meeting – augurs poorly for a reasonable or early settlement of our claims.

UFUSA Safety And Resourcing Campaign

There is concern about whether this is a good use of your union’s resources so a number of initiatives are currently being developed which may well see a determination to re-escalate industrial and public campaigning. Meanwhile our political and social media campaigning are unremitting focused on progressing our campaign in the longer term and this is also set to significantly increase in coming months.

SOLIDARITY ACTION

UFUSA Resourcing Campaign

As emergency services workers, we have limited access to traditional industrial actions however there are many symbolic actions we can and have taken; wearing our union T-shirt was an early display of our solidarity in support of the safety and resourcing campaign, followed by the mass appearance of UFUSA hoodies.

This action continues to be protected and members are strongly encouraged to continue to wear the union apparel; the significance of such an act of solidarity between workers should not be underestimated. It certainly has a very definite impact on the employer.

Of course we know that firefighters take great pride in presentation and the uniform, wishing to be well turned out in formal settings. State Council encourages members to wear dress shirts over the T-shirt on formal occasions such as a key check or an education visit.

For clarity, formal does not include going down the street to get the lunches. We are confident that crews have the capacity as union members, to determine what you believe is right to do for an occasion.


COVID VACCINATION

In the current pandemic we urge everyone who can, to get vaccinated. The rollout of the vaccination programs and availability of vaccines has of course been more than disappointing, particularly the failure to roll out early vaccinations for special category workers in the way that was promised by government.


Vaccines aren’t the whole answer of course, but they are an important step. Nevertheless it needs to be recognised that there are people for whom vaccination is not appropriate, desired or recommended. And there are many others who are hesitant and still considering the matter.


The union movement generally and the UFUSA in particular, oppose mandatory vaccinations. You may recall that in 2020, this issue arose in relation to flu vaccinations and our union reached agreement with the MFS that mandatory vaccinations are not legal and would not be pursued. It is understood that the MFS has not deviated from that determination nor is there any indication to date, that it will.


A number of members will be meeting to discuss the subject at 10:30 hours on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 at the UFUSA Office. Please RSVP info@ufusa.com.au if you’d like to participate.


IT’S TAX TIME AGAIN


Don’t you love it? If you’re doing your tax return, please don’t forget that your union dues are 100% tax deductible. To assist you in this delightful task, the rates for the financial year 2020- 2021 are as follows:

Full-Time Firefighters$986.70 pa
Engineering, BATA, General Hands$601.12 pa
Retained Firefighters$226.20 pa
VENTIA Firefighters$936.51 pa

For information on other benefits of belonging to your union, please go to our About page.


SANDY68 – SATURDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2021


This is said to be the longest point-to-point beach ultra in Australia and it’s raising funds to support Bright Futures Child Aid and Development Fund Australia. You can participate, sponsor or donate. You can go to www.sandy68.com for more information.


In solidarity

PRODUCTIVE FIRST MEETING OF THE 2021- 2024 STATE COUNCIL

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Max Adlam

STATE COUNCIL ELECTRONIC BALLOT OPENED TODAY 

The electronic ballot to elect our State Councillors opened this morning and all UFUSA members should have received a message from CiVS, the company running the ballot, with the information necessary for you to lodge your vote. 

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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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