The very poor state of the MFS fleet is certainly no secret to UFU members who are required to crew MFS appliances, however the list of faults with appliances, continues to escalate.
Thank you to all of those who have forwarded on detailed information in relation to the current faults lists of appliances, the data does help in advocating for increased resourcing to address the problems. More can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org; please keep that information coming in.
The employer, in particular the government, cannot be permitted to continue to refuse to even discuss the matter of resourcing and fleet planning with our union while making public statements about how progressive they are in resourcing the MFS.
Particularly when UFU members are being left to struggle with an impossible situation.
The announcements being made about ‘increased funding’ obfuscate the issue, with previous announcements being repeated as though it is new funding, e.g Mount Barker Station vehicles.
Despite repeated requests, no clarification has been forthcoming about exactly what and when any new appliances are being funded and will appear. Or when and how equipment such as BOPS will be installed on appliances.
We do hear that 4 new appliances are due to arrive in November but some can’t help wondering in which year? After all, we are STILL waiting for the rain jackets promised by a previous Minister 3 years ago.
NO SPARE APPLIANCES
It is a very serious concern currently to be advised by members that once again there are no spare appliances available within the MFS.
This appalling state of affairs must not be allowed to compromise members and pressure you to accept substandard, even unroadworthy, appliances.
It is an extremely difficult position for firefighters who simply want to provide a fire and rescue service to the community, to be put in, however there is no option but for the union to strongly urge members to go Status Zero should this occur.
And as the bushfire season once again is almost upon us, any appliances deployed as strike teams must be required to have BOPS.
We understand that most MFS management agrees with this. But there are some other serious issues to be considered here – for one thing, we are now told that the time for a BOPS to be fitted has blown out to 9 weeks, this when there are currently no spares to release appliances for fitting. 2
And many vehicles are quite old, are they to be fitted with BOPS?
And if not, given the movement of appliances, it will require careful planning and SERIOUS attention to ensure those without BOPS are not deployed as Strike Teams.
As previously reported negotiations on the EA to discuss issues such as this have stalled due to management’s (government’s) unwillingness to even discuss planning and resourcing.
Press conferences by the latest in a revolving door of Ministers, announcing and re-announcing funds to be allocated are all very well, but our research shows that 12 appliances are needed NOW and 6 pa thereafter if the situation is to be addressed meaningfully.
Their political announcements don’t even come close.
Membership meetings are currently being held around stations and worksites to consider the matter and a joint meeting of State Councillors and Shop Stewards is being organised in October to consider a recommendation of industrial action in order that our claims be taken seriously and the under resourcing addressed.
Many members have reported encountering difficulties since the transition from HIRMS to MySafety, in particular in relation to logging onto the system. These matters were raised with management under WHS and the union understands that they are currently being addressed.
We are told that there are problems in the system which are being experienced across government and that the MFS is placing a reference point and updates on the Members Only Website to assist those still encountering difficulties.
Following this week’s outage of the system, our union has sought more detailed information about the “manual” procedures mentioned in the MFS all staff email and detail about what steps are being initiated to ensure this essential system operates in the way intended and needed.
In the meantime, the MFS has requested that any members still encountering problems be encouraged to firstly go to the MOW MySafety Tab for reference to the MySafety User Guide.
If this does not assist in finding a solution, you are encouraged to contact either Peter Eime or Clara Cipriani at the MFS or to call the OCPSE Systems Support Desk on 1800 317 333 as per the MFS All Staff email of 23 September 2020.
Do keep a record of any problems, the steps you’ve initiated and let us know if you still can’t get a resolution email@example.com
SENIOR FIREFIGHTER LEVEL 2 QUALIFIED
No response has been received from the MFS to date following our communication urging the employer to initiate SF Level 2 Qualified training ASAP as contained in the report to members in WordBack No 34 of 2020
Members will be kept informed of progress.