STRONG & POSITIVE START TO 2023

Wordback UFUSA 2023

Our Union has embarked upon 2023 very busily with a very strong and positive start to the New Year.

Firstly, my warmest thanks to our UFUSA Executive Members Chas, Spoon, Andy and Ben for all your effort for our union most particularly during the office closure during the festive season; so much great work given freely for members in personal and unpaid time which is largely unsung. Work by members for members. Thank you from us all for your care and achievements for firies.

It’s exciting to welcome our newest Recruit Squad and we wish them all the best in the challenges ahead. I also acknowledge all members in L&D who work especially hard at this time and thank you for the gracious response to my request to meet the recruits early in training; I’m looking forward to a quick chat very soon.

It is very heartening also to see that the promotions processes have started moving with more Commanders promoted and the ACFO process imminent.

A positive meeting was held recently where L&D outlined the proposal being put to State Council which I believe will see the new training program for Senior Firefighters getting started very soon.

Noarlunga Station is at last up and running with an official opening by Emergency Services Minister Joe Szakacs coming up on 4 February 2023.

Advice of the great work of members assisting in the flood emergency, notably including that by Retained Firefighters, has been received. Another example of good people doing good work, thank you.

And of course in a challenging economic climate, it’s helpful for everyone to have some pay increases and backpay starting to flow; below is more information on that in case you’ve missed it previously.

FIREFIGHTERS’ ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT CERTIFIED & BACKPAY TO FLOW SOON

Following the certification by the SA Employment Tribunal on 22 December 2022, the new wage rates in the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service Enterprise Agreement 2022 will be applied soon and current rates will include the 2.5% from the first full pay period (FFPP) after 1/1/21, 2.5% from FFPP 1/1/22 and 3% from FFPP 1/1/23. As a reminder, a further 3% will be applied from the FFPP after 1/1/24 and at expiry of the EA from FFPP after 1/1/25.

Instructions have been provided by the employer to Shared Services who are working on the application of the new pay rates, the one off payment of $1500 (or pro rata), and the backpay calculations with a view to these payments flowing through to you ASAP.

We are advised that the timetable proposed for payments is:

  • One-off payment of $1500 (or pro rata) 9 February 2023
  • New rates 23 February 2023
  • Backpay for current employees 9 March 2023
  • “Terminated” Employees 23 March 2023

Please do ensure you check your payments carefully when they come through. You can request further detail if required to reconcile the payments and you should raise any issues in the first instance with your employer in writing asap.

Members are reminded of the importance of always keeping keep clear and consistent records of your work, leave etc, in order that if you think there are any errors, you can verify calculations and the quantum of the payments or leave which you believe should have been made to you. Where disputes arise as unfortunately they too commonly do, you’ll be glad you did.

BALLOT FOR MEMBERS IN BATA AND ENGINEERING

A ballot of those covered by the South Australian Public Sector Wages Parity Enterprise Agreement (Plumbing, Metal and Building Trades Employees) is being conducted electronically to determine whether the latest offer from the employer is acceptable to a majority of employees.

The offer is for a roll over agreement with four annual wage increases of 3% payable from the first full pay period (FFPP) on or after 15 December 2022, 15 December 2023, 15 December 2024 and 15 December 2025. If the majority of employees vote in favour of the offer in this ballot, an application will be made to the SAET to have the agreement approved.

Members involved are urged to ensure you’ve had discussions about the offer with other members affected, that your contact details are all up to date with the MFS and that you ensure you receive your ballot and cast your vote expeditiously.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Future Wordbacks will include more information to members about the range of issues currently on our union’s agenda and how they are being addressed. Importantly issues of high importance to members such as health and wellbeing and the extension of the presumptive cancer legislative provisions are being actively pursued.

It’s never too soon to start preparations for the next enterprise agreement and with the foundation of activism built by UFUSA members over the last few years we are well placed to go in early and strong, with negotiations scheduled to commence next year.

Together we do make a difference.

In solidarity

STRONG & POSITIVE START TO 2023

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United Fire Fighters Union Of South Australia - UFUSA

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