It is an understatement to say that it is disappointing to end the year on a bitter note however that is the experience of many SAMFS members suffering at the hands of the employer in many and various issues throughout the year.
President Chas Thomas warmly welcomed 18 new firefighters to our ranks last week, with hearty congratulations on the successful completion of the demanding Recruit Training in decidedly challenging circumstances.
Diesel exhaust in MFS stations has been a significant health and safety issue for many years with Diesel Particulate Matter having been declared a Category 1 Carcinogen in 2012 by the World Health Organisation.
The meeting of UFU Shop Stewards and State Councillors held last week was very well attended and we thank our elected representatives for the job they do in the interests of firefighters, very often in their own time and often wrestling with prickly issues.
Meetings for negotiations on the Enterprise Agreement (EA) have continued however as reported to the UFUSA Conference in September 2021, stonewalling and game playing continues to be the order of the day from the employer rather than genuine negotiation.
Further to Wordback No 45/2021 issued this morning, the UFU is pleased to report that correspondence has been received from the employer this afternoon which now commits to implementation of all the recommendations of the SA Employment Tribunal of 1 November 2021.
In the absence of a satisfactory response from the employer to the matters in dispute and to fight for an enterprise agreement outcome that makes sure this can’t happen again, industrial actions will escalate from tomorrow Friday, 22 October 2021 at 08:00 hours.
The UFUSA Conference of Shop Stewards and State Councillors held last week expressed deep concern about the ongoing failure of the employer to address the risk of exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM) in our workplace and called on them to immediately meet their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.
343 firefighters were lost on 11 September 2001 and since then it’s reported that nearly a thousand more have died as a consequence of turning out that day.
SA Unions has advised that a rally is being organised for tomorrow morning when the Liberal Party is holding its conference, and we are invited to participate.
It was good to have the first meeting of the new State Council yesterday and there was plenty on the agenda including the SFQ dispute, underpayments, updating on the Safety and Resourcing Campaign, Enterprise Agreement negotiations, UFU staffing, diesel particulates, PFAS, drug and alcohol testing, the MFS Respectful Behaviour Working Party, the MFS Strategic Policy Framework Review and a report on the latest on PPE/C.
The enterprise bargaining meeting of 4 August 2021 repeated the previous pattern of the employer continuing to stonewall on the issue of safety and resourcing, refusing to even discuss asset management plans or to propose another for where these critical issues can be discussed.
Call for nominations for Health and Safety Representatives/Shop Stewards and Deputy Health and Safety Representatives/Shop Stewards.