ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT (EA) UPDATE

UFUSA Enterprise Agreement

 

 AGREEMENT UPDATE 

At the last EA negotiating meeting on 17 December 2019, the employer commenced outlining the issues they wish to be considered as a part of the EA negotiations. 

These include the development and introduction of a Zone Preference Model; an increase in SFF act ups from 8 to 10 on any shift; a restriction on the number of Retained Firefighters attending incidents; an extension of time of 12 weeks for the Recruit Squad; allowances applicable at Port Pirie Station; flexible movement of appliances; reduction of minimum staffing in Comcen. The employer also restated its resolution that the issue of resources will not be negotiated in the EA. 

The issues were verbally outlined and have not been provided to us in writing despite our request for it. 

The next EA negotiation meeting was scheduled to be held in the week commencing 20 January 2020 however this did not occur. 

The UFU has written to the MFS/State Government seeking the employer’s log of claims in writing and urging confirmation of dates for meetings ASAP and a whole range of dates have been proposed by us throughout February and March. Shop Stewards will be meeting on 26 February 2020 to receive a full report. Members will be kept updated. 

TRAVEL CLAIMS FOR DEPLOYMENTS INTRA- & INTER-STATE 

Enquiries from members about payments in respect of deployments, including travel claims to and from deployment continue. 

The MFS has agreed to pay incidental expenses for Kangaroo Island Deployments as they are required to do under cl 24.12.1 of the Agreement. It is not clear what incidental expenses the MFS is reimbursing at this stage, and so we are advising Members to lodge a claim with your employer in writing. 

The MFS has advised Full Time Firefighters that travel claims will not be accepted for deployments to Kangaroo Island and New South Wales on the basis that the deployments were ‘voluntary’. 

This not only fails to acknowledge the professionalism, hard work, commitment and sacrifices made by members who were deployed and spent long stretches of time away from family and friends, particularly over the festive period, but is contrary to provisions of the Award and Agreement. 

Advice in the previous Wordback is reiterated that Retained members on deployment should make working hours claim commencing at home departure and include travel time, and further advise that claims should also be made for reimbursement of any other expenses incurred as part of the deployment as required under cl 36 of the Agreement. 

The Chief Officer has requested a meeting to discuss the issue of the UFU claims on deployment and we have proposed a time for early next week for this meeting to take place. Members will be kept updated. 

SA BUSHFIRE REVIEW 

As previously reported, the South Australian Government has announced an independent review to be conducted into the unprecedented 2019/20 bushfire season with a focus on both the Kangaroo Island and Cuddlee Creek bushfires. 

The Terms of Reference of the review can be accessed by clicking here. 

Thank you to all UFU members who have been providing our office with a great deal of feedback about the operations you’ve been involved in so far this season. This information will be used to assist in continual improvement. If you haven’t yet been in touch or if you have feedback or views you believe can assist, please email us at info@ufusa.com.au as soon as possible. 

The UFU State Council is next due to meet on Thursday, 13 February 2020 and will consider this matter including the form and nature of our participation in the Review. 

SUPERANNUATION 

Recovery of Overpayments 

The UFU has been requested to advise our members that an independent review by PwC has made a finding that 47 employees of the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service had their post-tax superannuation contributions calculated incorrectly for the 2016 – 2017 financial year. 

This error impacted only employees who had a post-tax contribution and who changed classifications during the period of 1 April 2015 to 1 April 2016. The impacted employees received a component of salary during 2016 – 2017 which should have been deducted from their pay and sent to the SAMFS Superannuation Scheme. 

The 47 members affected will all be receiving correspondence from the MFS advising of the error and the amount of overpayment, and seeking to make appropriate arrangements for recovery. 

Members experiencing difficulty in relation to this matter should contact the UFU office for assistance on 8352 7211 or by email to info@ufusa.com.au 

SPEED LIMIT PASSING EMERGENCY VEHICLES 

Thank you to all those of you who have responded to the issue raised in Wordback No 4 about the proposal to raise the speed limit past emergency vehicles at incidents from 25 kph to 40 kph. Some members report they have also personally been in communication with the RAA on the matter so thank you again. Your responses will be provided to State Council at the next meeting on 13 February 2020. 

WILLS 

While it’s not a happy topic, all UFU members are reminded of the importance of having a will and to consider the need for other legal documents such as a power of attorney in case the worst should happen. 

A reminder also that full members of the Fire Service Fund and their spouse are eligible for reimbursement of $60 per document up to a value of $120. This benefit is payable every 5 years although in the event of a will needing to be changed or updated by a surviving partner due to a death, this benefit is payable immediately. 

A great service at a very reasonable cost has been provided to UFU members for many years by solicitor Ms Tanya Ryan. Tanya can be contacted by calling 8352 3284 in her schedule of fees for wills, powers of attorney and advanced care directives can be accessed by clicking here. 

ELECTION FOR THE UFUSA STATE COUNCIL CASUAL VACANCY 

A reminder that nominations are currently open for the election of a UFU Committee of Management member – Firefighter Representative. 

Nominations will close on 17 February 2020. 

The election notice and official nomination form provided by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has been published and can be accessed on our website www.ufusa.com.au or you can contact the AEC. 

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

The UFU is supporting The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and inviting members to do the Paddle4Prostate – a great way to raise important funds and awareness for this cause which has impacted so many of our members. 

This will be a fun event for the whole family to join in – Canoe, kayak, Stand-up paddle or dragon boat your way around Delfin Island. Our own Nat Gohl is supporting the event and is offering SUP hire for $20 if you need. 

Paddle4Prostrate

So, sign up today! 

1. Click on the link https://www.paddle4prostate.com.au/ 

2. Register yourself joining the UFU team 

3. Notify team captain Simon Herreen that you have joined (and if you need a UFU singlet) herreens@gmail.com or 0421709601

4. Contact Nat if you require a board nat@standuppaddlesa.com 041911356 

Prostate Cancer
Together We Can Make A Difference

In solidarity,

ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT (EA) UPDATE

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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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