ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT (EA) UPDATE

UFUSA Enterprise Agreement

 AGREEMENT (EA) UPDATE 

At the EA negotiating meeting last Friday 14 February 2020, it might have been Valentine’s Day but regrettably there wasn’t a lot of love in the room. 

Your employer continued to set out the items they wish to have addressed in your next enterprise agreement. 

These included renaming “Station Preference System” to “New Station Staffing”, a reduction in 2 appliance stations, a requirement for a medical certificate to be produced within 24 hours of absence due to illness, a requirement for the notification of sick leave at least an hour before start of shift, the development of a fatigue management policy, provision for a “Regional Manager” to be appointed to the position of Regional Commander, amendment to Retained Firefighters Scheduled Training Night (amend to 3 hours between 6 and 10 PM rather than 7 and 10 PM), changes to provisions relating to Fire Investigation Officers and CSRD, deletion of clause 24.3 Gallantry review (as we are told the review is complete), insertion of a provision that “SOIL” be a day shift off in lieu, review of deployments, allowances at Port Pirie Station, and the elimination of the Single Bargaining Centre (SBC). 

I am pleased to report that the parties did finally agree on arrangements necessary for the UFU representatives to be released from work to attend negotiations in an orderly fashion. 

The next meeting for the negotiations to continue is scheduled for Friday, 28 February 2020. 

PFAS – NEXT STEPS 

Following the rejection by the MFS of the proposed PFAS Accord (see Wordback No 49/2019, available here) the MFS Chief Officer has recently updated the UFU on the MFS’s proposed way forward at Largs North Station and PFAS matters generally. 

The CO has advised that consistent with the recommendations of the PFAS Consultative Committee, lockers have been extended to the ceiling to limit accumulation of dust, the fire station has been commercially cleaned, the grounds have been cleared and remediated and funding is being made available for any ongoing medical attention. 

It is understood that the Chief will be issuing a statement shortly that the station is ready for reoccupation from 08:00 hours on 3 March 2020 (A shift first day). 

The MFS advises that it has a continued commitment with respect to ongoing blood testing to monitor PFAS levels as well as ongoing research which is working towards outcomes which they believe reduce PFAS levels in the blood streams of affected firefighters. In particular, blood tests for PFAS will be offered before reoccupation of the station, giving staff members a baseline blood level PFAS reading prior to reoccupation and periodic blood testing for staff at the station will be offered on a voluntary and confidential basis. Current staff of the Largs North Fire Station, Marine and affected family members will be offered the opportunity for retesting their PFAS blood levels in 12 months from reoccupation. 

All other MFS firefighters will have the option of retesting for their PFAS levels in 3 years (2021) and those undergoing medical treatment will also have access to the testing every 2 months for a period of 6 months while they are under care. Requests for PFAS blood testing more often than 3 years will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

We are advised that ongoing monitoring by the Technical Working Group (agreed at the PFAS Consultative Committee), including Professor Mark Taylor, will develop the testing regime and oversee the process involved. The work of this group will include a monitoring program at Largs North Station, Port Adelaide, Oakden, Elizabeth, Mount Gambier and Camden Park where there have been elevated PFAS blood levels in firefighters and/or PFAS levels in soil. 

State Council considered the Chief Officer’s correspondence at our meeting on 13 February 2020 and unanimously resolved the following: 

State Council notes the correspondence of the Chief Officer of 12 February 2020 in relation to PFAS at Largs North Station and acknowledges the remediation steps taken as agreed at the PFAS Consultative Committee and the intention for the MFS to reoccupy the station on 3 March 2020. Feedback to the MFS to this effect will be sent, together with the amendment to the draft Memorandum correcting the error in relation to testing conducted by Professor Mark Taylor. 

I have subsequently held a number of meetings with members at Largs North Station this week, where a range of issues of concern were raised about the remediation works. These have been conveyed to the MFS management on Wednesday and we understand that management are now holding meetings at station to address the matters raised by members. I have not yet been able to get to all shifts at Largs North but please do let me know if you would like me to attend a meeting if there are any concerns following DCO Fletcher’s attendance. 

ELECTION FOR THE UFUSA STATE COUNCIL CASUAL VACANCY 

Nominations for the position of UFU Committee of Management member – Firefighter Representative closed on Monday 17 February 2020. 

The Australian Electoral Commission has advised that four nominations have been received for the position. The period in which nominations can be withdrawn closes at 17:00 hours (Australian Central Daylight Time) on 27 February 2020. If there is still more than one nominee for the position, a ballot is required. This will be a postal ballot which will open on 10 March 2020 and close at 17:00 hours (ACDT) on 9 April 2020. The level of interest by members in our union is heartening and bodes well for our union’s future. 

UNION BUSHFIRE FUND 

The ACTU Bushfire Fund has been established to provide short-term financial assistance to union members affected by 2019–20 bushfires. To qualify for assistance, a member needs to show that you have lost income as a result of the fires and have been unable to receive adequate compensation from other sources or have otherwise experienced severe financial hardship as a result of the fires. To apply for assistance please contact the UFUSA office on 

8352 7211 as soon as possible and we will help with the application to the ACTU Bushfire Fund. 

UFUSA PROJECT OFFICER 

Our office is fortunate indeed to have secured the fixed term contract services as the UFUSA Project Officer, of Séamus Krumrey-Quinn. Formerly of Lieschke and Weatherill Lawyers, Seamus has an impressive CV and is passionate about human rights; he is already making a big contribution and I am sure that you will join with us in welcoming Séamus to our team. 

MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC 10 MAY 2020 

Why should I enter? 

As Firefighters we are all too familiar with cancer. With so many of the firefighting family facing the disease – this event offers UFU members a chance to do something positive about it: raise awareness, funds or perhaps pay tribute to family and friends that may be or have battled Breast Cancer. 

One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. 53 new cases are diagnosed every day. And men can also be affected by breast cancer; it’s just as important for men as for women to see your doctor without delay if you find a breast change. 

It’s pleasing to note that since 1994, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer has improved from 76% to 91% – statistical proof that research is positively impacting survival rates. Improvements in survival are attributed to earlier detection of breast cancer, through regular mammograms and improved treatment outcomes for breast cancer – which is why funding research is so vital. 

This event has always been a wonderful way of showcasing the commitment to community demonstrated by firefighters every day both on and off the job. 

Register Now to Save! 

Hurry and register now! Early bird price now available! 

What are the details? 

Sunday 10th May 2020 (Mother’s Day!!!) 

Run or Walk, 4.5km or 7.4km from Peace Park (adjacent Adelaide Oval) or enter the 2.1km walk! The course is also pram friendly! Pre/Post run/walk enjoy the fresh fruit and BBQ breakfast with your family – look for the UFU shade tents set up at the finish line. 

The event will take place on a “C,” day this year, if crews are interested in participating, please make this request through your Southern Metropolitan Commander. 

Order your shirt 

The UFU of SA “pink firefighter T-shirts” no longer have a date on them or there is also the option of a running singlet. So, we hope you can wear the same shirt/singlet in other years and to represent the union at other events. But if you require a new one simple follow the instructions below: 

Mothers Day Classic T-Shirts

How to Enter 

1. Log onto the Mother’s Day Classic website: www.mothersdayclassic.com.au 

2. Select Event Location then Adelaide 

3. Select Register 

4. Register to Walk, Run or as a Family 

5. Continue as instructed 

6. IMPORTANT – Click on ‘join a team’ and then begin to type ‘ United Firefighters Union of South Australia’ pops up – click on that, then click on continue. 

7. Follow the remaining instructions to complete your registration(s) to our team 

8. Email your t-shirt or singlet size to info@ufusa.com.au or use the link here. 

Your team captains this year are S/O Carly White, F/F Gen Rueger, S/O Stefan Kirkmoe and SFF Stuart Macintyre. They are happy to provide further information as you need it. Carly White can be contacted on 0413141125 

Picking up your shirt/s 

Once you have entered the Mother’s Day Classic and ordered your shirt by emailing info@ufusa.com.au we will ensure they are ready for pickup before the day. 

You will be notified via email when they are available for collection at the union office prior to the event, let us know if you would like a friend or family member to collect on your behalf. 

If you are unable to pick up, they will be available on the morning at the UFU tent. 

There’s lots of interest in the T-shirts and singlets so please do get in early. 

In solidarity, 

ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT (EA) UPDATE

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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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