UFUSA Firefighters

Return to Work SA (RTWSA) and Minister for Workers Compensation in SA Rob Lucas, have been caught out being in cahoots on a plan to further reduce the entitlements of injured workers. 

The United Firefighters Union became aware of Return-to-Work SA Impairment Assessment Guidelines-Proposed Changes Consultation Paper dated 28 May 2021 on Friday 11 June 2021. RTW SA was in the process of consulting the medical associations and employers but not the trade union movement which represents injured workers. 

Your Union has serious concerns with what is proposed (72 changes) by RTW SA as most alterations will significantly affect injured workers from obtaining fair and reasonable lump-sum payments under Sections 56 (economic payment) and 58 (non-economic payment) for compensation for workplace injuries. 

Proposed Changes

The proposed changes will in a lot of instances, preclude injured workers from reaching for example: 

  1. the 5% threshold level; (An injured worker must reach the 5% level of injury threshold, otherwise they are not entitled to a lump payment for permanent impairment); 
  2. the 30% injury threshold level to be deemed to be a seriously injured worker; (Reaching the 30% level is very difficult as it is, let alone making it even harder for a seriously injured worker); 
  3. being asymptomatic (with e.g., arthritis) will mean an automatic deduction of the injury percentage determined by the assessor; and 
  4. restrictions placed on the injured worker to choose their accredited medical assessor. (If the doctor of the injured worker’s choice cannot book them in for an appointment within 6 weeks, they must choose another doctor and we all know how difficult it is to see a specialist doctor). 

Minister Lucas should not have the right with the stroke of a pen to allow the changes without at the very least allowing Parliament to scrutinise the proposal as presented by RTW SA.

The Union Movement represents workers in all types of industries not only for better wages and conditions, WHS, but also Workers Compensation and should be comprehensively consulted with, so the voice of injured workers is heard loud and clear on the proposed changes. 

By its very nature firefighting is a precarious occupation and despite all our training, injuries do happen, and our union constantly has a heavy caseload of members who have been injured in the course of duty. 

Most of us think injury won’t happen to us…until it does. 

Union Support

Our union is always here to support you if you are injured and often this is when you are at your most vulnerable. Please call us immediately if you or a mate is injured; a little advice EARLY can make a big difference. 

But there needs to be a fair and consistent system to manage work injuries, not one which can be reduced without scrutiny, at the flick of a political pen, leaving workers, including our members and families, dumped by the wayside needing help which never comes. 

Our Union urges all members in solidarity with other workers in SA, to attend the Rally to express our deep concerns on the proposed changes. 

Rally to Oppose RTW Changes 

Parliament House North Terrace 

12.30 hours 

Friday 2 July 2021 

Please come and join us. 

In solidarity, 


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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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