The UFU is proud to be turning out today with ambos to raise the common issue of concern to members of both our unions of the lack of resourcing of emergency services in SA and the failure of the Marshall government to properly address the issues being raised.
We’ll be highlighting the severe impact of that on our members and the concerns of members about the consequent risks to public health and safety.
The UFU recently lifted some bans replacing them with resolution to participate in public activities to ensure there is an awareness of the safety concerns integral to our campaign and to do all things necessary to seek the resolution of keeping firefighters and the public safe.
Firefighters do not stop work nor do we take traditional strike action in our campaigns. UFU members stand ever ready to respond to our duties, whether we are at a rally or not.
Today we are taking one of the few steps available to us, to stand together and call on our employer to listen to the concerns of firefighters about matters which are putting our health and safety and that of the public we serve, at risk.
As you may have read in Wordback No 41 of 2020, the MFS is prohibited from discriminating against any employee for participating in the UFUSA’s current industrial action, including participation in today’s rally. This means if your chain of command requires you to do something that has been banned or limited by the UFUSA or penalises you in some other way in the carrying out of your duties, the MFS may be liable for a fine of up to $20,000.
While the UFUSA does not seek such confrontation, we stand ready to meet the challenge.
It is worth reiterating that the attacks on Firefighters and our union as we raise safety issues publicly on behalf of frontline emergency services workers and our community demonstrates the impact of our campaign.
The demand to cancel our joint public rally at midday today in Victoria Square is yet another attempt by the Marshall government to silence our voices and ignore the risks to the safety of firies, ambos and the public we serve.
Firies and Ambos are linking arms and joining together in solidarity, assembling at 12 noon in Victoria Square today and marching to Parliament House. Members are called upon to join us, there is strength in numbers. As part of this action, ambos and firies will be wearing uniform; the UFUSA has requested that members wear the union T-shirt with either turnout pants or over trousers, with helmets (if not too hot). We reiteriate that as this is part of the UFUSA’s current industrial action, MFS is prohibited from discriminating against any employee for wearing these items. It will be warm so sunscreen and hats are advised.
We are being joined and supported by others such as doctors, nurses, construction and power industry workers along with a range of community groups. I look forward to seeing you there.