25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT RAAF BASE EDINBURGH 

RAAF Firetrucks

On 3rd March 1999 Transfield commenced operations at RAAF Base Edinburgh providing a dedicated fire and rescue services; significantly this was the first time a private company had replaced the RAAF fire service at an airfield facility in Australia.

As a large Category 6 airfield, Edinburgh has also become a joint military base with the army, so it is now classed as a “superbase”, also providing coverage at the Woomera airfield when required for military testing etc. 

While many members from the RAAF Fire and Rescue Service transferred to Transfield on startup, there have of course been a few retirements along the way. Before commencing the contract some outstanding members of the station contacted the UFU and developed the vision to do things properly setting up firefighters at Edinburgh up for the future. Internally many policies have also been developed along the way to make the service run more smoothly, safely and fairly. 

Successive changes of companies running the fire and rescue service at Edinburgh have occurred over the years with the Fire and Rescue Service now owned and run by Ventia which provides these services to military bases around the country. 

Those employed in the Woomera Emergency Services subsequently also joined the UFU enabling them to negotiate and when much more favourable conditions as a result. Recruitment has changed and developed over the years with firefighters now employed from diverse backgrounds.

Woomera Firetrucks

Members at Edinburgh and Woomera have worked together and achieved great conditions along the way but our stand-out EBA condition has been income protection for all our members…something every other state has been trying to achieve for their EBAs since. 

Basically it’s a good news story of 25 years providing fire services to the military and 25 years of union membership😉 

***With thanks to Lionel Barry Edinburgh Shop Steward who prepared this article; any errors in editing are mine. 

SHIFT EQUALISATION AND FAST TRACK SENIOR FIREFIGHTERS AS an MFS EMERGENCY ACT UP GADS 

Your UFU representatives met with MFS senior management last Wednesday to discuss concerns being raised about an MFS proposal to equalise shift numbers of firefighters and station officers. 

We understand that there are excess numbers of employees on some shifts where riding positions are not available (23 across B and C shifts) and management are looking at those firefighters with less than six months service to equalise numbers across shifts, particularly relievers from squads 56, 57 and 58. We are advised that individuals will be approached to seek assistance in this matter. 

Concerns were raised by members in relation to the proposal to GAD members of the emergency SO act up fast track group for this same purpose. From discussions it became clear that a different understanding of the emergency arrangements exist in management to that of the union and as contained in Memo 74/2023. 

Our union was very glad to receive an assurance from the A/CO Jeff Swann that there never was any intention to do this on a compulsory basis and despite members’ conversations with managers which suggest differently, we accept his word in good faith. 

Accordingly a further meeting is to be scheduled to work through the range of issues which remain between the parties, including the establishment of GAD Guidelines, the review of SAP 36 and the conduct and completion of the SO promotions process. 

In the meantime, the A/Chief Officer was issued an invitation to attend the next meeting of the UFUSA State Council scheduled to be held at 09:30 hours on Thursday, 14 March 2024 at the UFU office. Members are welcome to attend if interested by RSVP to info@ufusa.com.au

YOUR UNION ELECTIONS ARE FAST APPROACHING 

Nominations will open this month for your UFUSA State Council elections and Life Member Paul Caica has been appointed by State Council as our Returning Officer for the 2024 UFUSA Inc elections. 

Following endorsement by the 2023 AGM, a rule change has been effected to allow this election to be conducted electronically. It is anticipated that the Returning Officer will provide a report and timetable to the next meeting of State Council on Thursday 14 March 2024 together with a Wordback to members setting out the election process and timetable. 

Elections for the UFUA state branch Committee of Management will be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission and will be a postal ballot commencing mid-March. A Wordback will be produced shortly with details of that election process also. 

ELECTRONIC UFUSA ELECTIONS IN 2024 – ARE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS UP TO DATE? 

As members are aware, our UFU elections are fast approaching with the next step the closing of the roll, so please ensure your personal details are up to date in our UFU records as a priority. This will ensure the electoral roll is correct and that you will receive your ballot immediately it’s issued. 

It is important that if you have changed your mobile number, or your home or personal email address, please let us know ASAP by calling us on 8352 7211, emailing info@ufusa.com.au, or https://www.ufusa.com.au/ufusa-membership-update/ 

In solidarity 

25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT RAAF BASE EDINBURGH 

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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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