Rural Fire Service PSA Day of Action proceeding: What to do and leave - Public Service Association

Rural Fire Service PSA Day of Action proceeding: What to do and leave

You would likely have seen the PSA’s bulletins regarding the NSW Government’s announcement that it was to offer all NSW Government employees a three per cent pay rise.  This was to include legislated superannuation increases, meaning this offer is closer to 2.5 per cent.

This announcement does not address the membership’s concerns for real wages to not go backwards, it does not get rid of the wages cap. To add insult to injury a $3000 ‘thank you’ payment to health workers is being denied to our members. Apparently, you do not deserve the same ‘thank you’ when you, and other PSA members, have worked in critical roles during the pandemic and natural disasters, and kept this state moving.

As such, a PSA Central Council meeting held at 5:00pm on Monday, 6 June directs members continue with strike, or other form of industrial action that is being taken.

You can see the PSA bulletin’s HERE.

Am I on unauthorised leave if I take part in the strike?

The PSA has become aware that the Rural Fire Service (RFS) has attempted to intimidate and/or mislead their employees by informing them (a) that participation in the PSA’s directive to stop work on 8 June 2022 means you will be considered as on unauthorised leave and (b) if you do not follow a lawful directive you will be considered to be on unauthorised leave.

Whilst RFS has not authorised the leave it is important to note it cannot take any disciplinary action or victimise you for taking industrial action as directed by your union. You are not striking in your own name, you are doing so at the direction of the PSA and in the PSA’s name. Any consequences for striking fall on the PSA, not on individuals who strike. You cannot be disciplined for taking industrial action in your union’s name.

If you are participating in the strike as directed by the PSA and there is no option to submit your absence in SAP under Industrial Action the PSA recommends that when attending the strike that you log your absence as Leave Without Pay, with the reason being Industrial Action.

As stated in the previous bulletin, the following persons should not take strike action, for public safety purposes:

  • -Your role means you may be activated to be first response at an emergency
  • -Your role is required if volunteers need you for emergency situations
  • -Your role is required for the co-ordination of emergencies (such as the OCC).

It is worth noting, that in the position descriptions, it states:

“During periods of major fire activity, the incumbent may be required to support operational management activities consistent with their skills and background.”

There is NO requirement on all staff members to support emergency response at any time.

Participating in the strike

  1. On Wednesday 8 June, prior to when you would normally commence work advise your manager that you will in accordance with the PSA direction be participating in industrial action.
  2. In advising your manager you are participating in industrial action you can provide the manager with the PSA’s bulletin.
  3. Attend the relevant PSA action in your area
  4. On your return to work the next day you can put your leave in as LWOP, with the reason being Industrial Action.

I am not a member; can I take part in strike action?

As stated above, this action is for members to take part in at the direction of their union. If you are not a member you can still join HERE to be protected for your part in the action. We encourage all members to have discussions with their colleagues around taking part tomorrow. This day of action extends to all parts of our membership with public servants across the state joining the campaign tomorrow to fight for a fair wage rise.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to your organiser Glenn Duncan on 0409 455 682

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