Rural Fire Service – Award Variation update for members

Rural Fire Service – Award Variation update for members – May 2018 (PDF version)

This bulletin contains:

  • Update to the award negotiations
  • Summary of the survey results
  • PSA Principles for a new award.

The PSA and RFS reported back to the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on 19 April 2018. Chief Commissioner Kite was advised PSA and RFS met on 12 March 2018 and the parties agreed to negotiate the whole RFS award and meetings were scheduled for 21 May and 4 June 2018. We also advised a survey sent to members closed on 13 April 2018 and results are being collated. Commissioner Kite noted the progress so far, reinforced the options available to the PSA (including arbitrating a new award), and a new award needs to define what each level of a role classification does, for example what is the work of a Level 3 and Level 4 RFS Officer. We are to report back to the IRC on 15 June 2018.

The PSA met with the RFS on 21 May 2018 and a set of protocols for negotiations were agreed on. It was also agreed that the parties would exchange documents containing each party’s principles they seek as part of a new award. PSA’s Principles sought in a new award can be found HERE. The PSA will meet with the RFS on 4 June 2018 to progress negotiations based on each party’s Principles.

In developing the PSA Principles, the delegates considered all recent and current industrial issues, the surveys conducted in 2015 and 2018, other feedback provided from members and legal advice.

The common themes were recording work hours, being compensated for all time worked and equitable application of allowances. These have been used as our overarching principles. The PSA’s RFS Award Variation 2018 Survey Results can be found HERE.

The current RFS Award was developed in 2001 and there have been some slight wording changes. But, the award has not been fully reviewed and aligned with the work now performed across a broad variety of roles. In reviewing the award it is the PSA’s intent that current conditions will change for the better, especially how members are currently compensated. The PSA and delegates recognise the changes sought may impact on members in a variety of ways. There are potential changes to how the RFS delivers some services, particularly around triple zero call receipt and dispatch. This will potentially impact our members and the PSA will give that serious consideration. However, it is crucial that members consider these changes in the broader context of being compensated for all time worked.

The PSA Principles are the guiding statement that your delegates will negotiate with the RFS on. They are by no means the new award. The Principles will be used to identify where the PSA and the RFS have agreement to negotiate from. If negotiations break down the PSA will seek the assistance of the IRC.

It is a timely reminder that only PSA members are able to have a legitimate say on working conditions. As a member you will be able to vote on your award and provide direct feedback to the PSA on your working conditions.

As always the PSA welcomes members’ feedback. Should you have any questions or comments please contact your delegate or the PSA. Further information will be provided to members as the award negotiations continue.

Further updates

Your union will continue to update members on the developments with the Award Variation and will be visiting workplaces to update members.

If you would like to arrange a meeting at your workplace please email Andrew Boulton at aboulton@psa.asn.au.

As always the PSA welcomes member’s feedback. Should you have any questions or comments please contact your delegate firstly and if required the PSA.

Your NSW RFS delegates are:

Jim Killen
jim.killen@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Ivan Perkins
ivan.perkins@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Chris Wallbridge
chris.wallbridge@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Kam Baker
kam.baker@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Ashley Frank
ashley.frank@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Damian Oborn
damian.oborn@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Andrew Kaye
andrew.kaye@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Your PSA staff:

Andrew Boulton – PSA Industrial Officer

Kirra Jackson – PSA Organiser

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