2022 UPDATE … AND HERE COMES 2023!

UFU President Chas Thomas and I, in reflecting on the year that was, decided to again video one of our short and possibly annoying clips to update you about what’s going on now.


If you don’t want to view that (and certainly no one could blame you), please read on…

SAMFS FIREFIGHTERS’ EA PAYMENTS

Our MFS Firefighters’ Enterprise Agreement is currently before the SA Employment Tribunal, and it is anticipated that certification is imminent. As you’d expect, your union is pushing for the bonus $1500 payment, the relevant wage increases and the backpay to flow on to members ASAP after certification.

Preliminary advice with indicative timelines were received today from the MFS following their meeting with Shared Services, that the
• One off payment is to be made early February; and
• Back payment / salary increases to be made / applied early March.

We are told that more detail around these timings will be able to be provided once the Employment Tribunal has formally approved the EA and we will keep you updated on any changes to this.

QUEEN ELIZABETH MEMORIAL PUBLIC HOLIDAY

The employer has now confirmed that recognition of the public holiday declared for Thursday, 22 September 2022 in recognition of the day of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth, will be advised as L on your next payslips where applicable. Please keep an eye out for this.

IN OTHER NEWS:

PROMOTIONS are again moving with a process for ACFO’s due to commence soon.

SFF TRAINING – with the resolution of the Senior Firefighter Level 2 Qualified dispute, the long awaited training has been upgraded and is scheduled to commence in January 2023 – our very best wishes to all embarking on this journey.

RECRUIT SQUAD – The next recruit squad is scheduled to commence in late January, likely to be followed by two further intakes in 2023.

EXCESSIVE OVERTIME AND FATIGUE – It is hoped that measures underway will assist with the excessive overtime expected of firefighters currently. Slowly but surely. Meanwhile please keep an eye on your health and well-being and try to avoid the excessive fatigue which inevitably accompanies such extensive work hours.

ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANNING – We are all buoyed by the numbers of new appliances now coming online as a result of commitments gained by the collective action of our union through our safety and resourcing campaigning. The commitment of the employer to working in a collegiate way on a comprehensive Asset Management Plan has met some roadblocks within the MFS; these are currently being directly addressed and it is anticipated that the process will be “unclogged” in the near future.

DIESEL PARTICULATE MATTER – The commitment to funding this project is firmly in place with planning proceeding recognising the serious health and safety risk involved in exposure to DPM. Meanwhile it’s heartening to see the ongoing removal of PPE storage from engine rooms.

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT – The reinstatement of the two positions from the 2017 EA agreement is now proceeding together with plans for advertisements for the additional positions gained in 2022 from our safety and resourcing campaign. Very exciting to meet our new members at the meeting today and to welcome two apprentices who will be appointed in the New Year.

TRADES GROUP EA – Negotiations have resulted in an offer to our trades group members employed in the MFS. This morning, UFUSA, CEPU, AWU, AMWU, & AEA officials met with members to consider a “total package offer” for the new South Australian Public Sector Wages Parity Enterprise Agreement (Plumbing, Metal and Building Trades Employees) 2022. The collective membership of the unions resolved that the offer is acceptable to be determined by an electronic ballot of those covered by the EA and this will now proceed once there is a draft EA reflecting the offer, upon which to vote.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS – 2023 AND BEYOND!

Working collectively has greatly progressed the issues of concern to members employed by the MFS. However much remains to be addressed and new challenges await. It’s important to take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come and to map out where we need to go. Early in the New Year your representatives will meet to determine our future priorities with a focus on the health and well-being of members, including the protection and extension of our presumptive cancer provisions.

VENTIA EA NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY

UFU members employed by Ventia are likely pleased that negotiations on their next enterprise agreement are underway, though perhaps not as exhilarated as they appear in this photo, taken (off duty) at a recent end of year celebration. Looks like all involved on the day enjoyed the opportunity to let down their hair and have a well-deserved good time.

UFUSA Christmas

SEASON’S GREETINGS & NOTICE OF UFUSA OFFICE XMAS CLOSURE

As 2022 draws to a close UFU members can rightly reflect with collective pride on the busy and productive year we have shared.

Hopefully you will all have an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with friends and family during the festive season, recharging for the year to come.

Please be advised that your union office will close at 12:00 hours on Thursday, 22 December 2022, reopening at 08:30 hours on Monday, 9 January 2023.

During that time it is appreciated if you would make your local Shop Steward your first port of call with any queries or concerns. If not urgent, you can also direct an email through to info@ufusa.com.au for our attention in the New Year.

If you need help or advice on a matter of a more urgent nature, UFUSA Executive members may be contacted directly as follows:

President Chas Thomas0413 002 656
Vice President (Officers) Matt Watherston0414 600 045
Vice President (Firefighters) Andrew Caire0421 578 196
Treasurer Ben Whitlock0439 811 436

Thank you from all of us to Chas, Matt, Andy and Ben for taking on this responsibility, largely in your own and your family’s time, in the interests of caring for members and in ensuring our staff can get to take a breather. On top of everything else you do… I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all State Councillors, Staff and Shop Stewards in building our union and thank you for all your hard work throughout the year.

And to each and every member, thank you for your ongoing interest and participation in our union together with the solidarity and determination you’ve demonstrated; together we make a difference.

Very best wishes to you and your families for the festive season.

In solidarity

2022 UPDATE … AND HERE COMES 2023!

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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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