MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC

Mother's Day Classic

Thank you to everyone involved in the virtual MDC for helping to make it such a great success last Sunday despite all the challenges in 2020. From the photos received so far, it looks like everyone had a great day while supporting an important cause. 

The judges (MDC Organising Committee) are currently out on the decision in the competition for the 3 prizes, but we will keep you updated once the decisions are made and the winners are advised. In our eyes, you all looked like winners in your UFU T-shirts! 

Congratulations and thanks to the MDC Organising Committee comprised of Genevieve, Carly, Stuart, Stefan and Chas for all the hard work. Big thanks also to Gail in our UFU Office for her hard work on this project. Amazing work by all, you guys rock. 

COVID-19 UPDATE 

Relaxation of Restrictions and Recovery Plan 

There is very welcome news today that SA Health now has zero active cases recorded of COVID-19 in SA, with no new cases in more than a week. 

As governments both federal and state are announcing the gradual relaxation of community restrictions, your union is working consultatively with the SAMFS on organisational recovery plans, providing for considered vigilant methodology as interim coronavirus policies and procedures are considered for recission, with a gradual return to standard operating principles and procedures. 

As our winter approaches (it feels like it’s here already) it brings with it the cold and flu season and potentially increased risk of the coronavirus. So we are all agreed there is no room for complacency in keeping members, our families and our community safe. 

It is clear that the physical distancing, isolation and hygiene measures implemented and taken up by South Australians have kept us in a very favourable position compared to many other 2 

places; let’s continue to work together to ensure that the risk of the potential “second wave” is minimised to the greatest degree possible. 

“We’re all in this together”, after all. 

RECOVERY ROADMAP

The MFS has consulted on the updated “Recovery Roadmap” which we are advised will be posted on the Members Only Website (MOW) on Monday 18 May. 

Retained Firefighters Staggered Return To “Presence Training” Nights 

We have started to receive from the MFS the much-promised Risk Assessment and Treatment Plans for Modified on Station Training in Regional Operations which we are told have been developed in consultation with crews. The plans are being reviewed expeditiously and consultation is occurring with a view to ensuring members can return to training as soon and as safely as possible; some stations have now returned to modified training nights while the plans for other stations have not yet been received. Some of the plans provided will require some further attention to ensure physical distancing and hygiene measures work together with the training plans. Not all regional stations are the same so special arrangements need to be made particularly for the smaller and older stations. 

MFS has agreed that members who are immuno-compromised or have family members who require special consideration will not be required to return to On Station training nights at this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Union office on 8352 7211 if you are experiencing any issues in relation to this matter. 

AVIATION FIREFIGHTING 

Congratulations to our fellow firefighters in the UFU Aviation Branch at Adelaide Airport who have fought to retain their nightshift during curfew hours. 

This week they were advised of the reinstatement of their original shifts despite the cynical move by Air Services to shift responsibility for aviation firefighting to the SAMFS. 

Members and officials of the UFU Aviation Branch have extended their sincere thanks to the UFUSA for standing firm in the face of such perfidy. 

WORKPLACE INJURY – IMPORTANT INFORMATION SCHEDULE 1 EXTENDED BENEFITS 

In the negotiations for our last Enterprise Agreement we lobbied the State Government to have extended entitlements to workers compensation inserted into our Award due to the dangerous nature of a firefighter’s work. 

The Government agreed with our Union’s submissions that firefighters are significantly more vulnerable to sustaining injuries than other workers in the general community. 

On 1 July 2018 our award, the Firefighting Industry Employees (SA Metropolitan Fire Service) Award 2007, was varied to incorporate ‘Schedule 1 – Additional Compensation For Certain Work Related Injuries Or Illnesses’. 

To access the additional benefits, in the first instance you have to be an “eligible employee” which means that you have to be a current or former employee (irrespective of when your 3 

employment ceased) who has had a compensable claim accepted under a compensation act. Such an act would be the now defunct WorkCover Act 1986 or the current Return to Work Act 2014

The causal connection to the nature of firefighting is that to be eligible, the injury must have: 

  • Resulted from conduct directed at the employee that is or appears to be a criminal offence; and/or 
  • Occurred as a direct and immediate result of conduct that is or appears to be a criminal offence; and/or 
  • Occurred in other circumstances where the employee is placed in a dangerous situation, which can include training (however psychiatric injuries are only eligible injuries if they are caused as a consequence of a specific incident or incidents). 

Benefits or entitlements you may seek if injured means weekly payments of income maintenance or medical or like expenses or a rehabilitation return to work plan. 

Currently there is very little case law on what constitutes a dangerous situation in Awards. 

All members are strongly recommended, if considering lodging an application under Schedule 1, to seek the assistance and specialized advice from our UFU Workers Compensation Advocate Les Birch on 8352 7211 before proceeding with an application for additional entitlements. 

THE 2019-20 BUSHFIRE HISTORY PROJECT 

The 2019-20 Bushfire History Project is an initiative of the Royal Commission into the National Natural Disaster Arrangements. It is an opportunity for people to record their personal experience and share photos and videos taken during the 2019-20 bushfires or the ongoing recovery. The material received by the Royal Commission will form part of the official records of the Royal Commission. 

The Commission invites people to: 

1. Contribute videos or photographs taken during the 2019-20 bushfires or the ongoing recovery and/or 

2. Submit a short video account explaining what you experienced during the bushfires. 

Please follow the instructions below to upload video or photos to the Commission: 

ONLINE

1. Email the Royal Commission to register your interest in contributing video or photographs to the 2019-20 Bushfire History Project. 

Please include: 

  • Your full name 
  • The date you experienced the bushfire 
  • The city, town or locality where you experienced the bushfire 
  • A brief description of the material you would like to contribute. 
  • Once you have registered, you will receive an email from the Commission with a guide on how to upload your contribution to the history project along with a release form. 

BY POST

1. Download your video or photographs to a USB drive or gather your photographic prints 

2. Complete this online form. 

3. Label the USB drive with your full name 

4. Mail the USB drive and/or photographs along with the completed form to: 

Royal Commission Bushfire History Project Locked Bag 2000 Manuka ACT 2603 

The Royal Commission reserves the right to exclude material which is not in the spirit of the project including offensive, inappropriate or potentially defamatory material. The Commission cannot accept material unless the release form is completed. 

Tips for photos and videos taken during the 2019-20 bushfires or the ongoing recovery 

Check that you have permission to use the photo or video: 

  • If a photo or video was not taken by you, get permission to use the photo or video, from the person who took it 
  • If you can identify a person in a photo or video, get permission to use the photo or video, from that person 
  • If someone else’s house or property is in a photo or video, get permission to use the photo or video, from the owner 

Tips for recording a video account 

Your video should be 3 minutes or less 

Your video should include things like: 

  • When you experienced the fire 
  • Where you were 
  • What happened 
  • What you saw and heard 
  • What you did 
  • How you felt 

Remember, this is about recording your personal experience – it’s not an opportunity to criticise others. 

  • Find a quiet space with plenty of natural light 
  • Think about what is in the background 
  • Turn your phone or tablet on its side (in landscape mode) and place the device on a stable surface or have someone record it for you 
  • Check your audio is recording and be aware of background noise 
  • Imagine you’re telling your story to your family or your best friend – think about the details you would share to convey your experience 

When you are finished recording, play the video back to check the quality of video and sound. 

It’s important our voices and our experiences are heard. 

In solidarity, 

MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC

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UFUSA Vote
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Max Adlam

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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