The Ongoing Scourge of Bullying within the RFS - Public Service Association

The Ongoing Scourge of Bullying within the RFS

The Public Service Association (PSA) has a longstanding commitment to exposing and holding the Rural Fire Service (RFS) accountable for instances of bullying.

Our December 2023 bulletin underscores a troubling trend, revealing that RFS personnel face or witness bullying at a significantly higher rate compared to other employees in the NSW Public Sector.

Swift Action Needed on Bullying

The slow and insufficient actions taken by management on bullying issues have had a serious impact on PSA members working at RFS and raises concerns about the organisation’s commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all members.  Bullies must be dealt with swiftly and decisively so as not to undermine the well-being and morale of everyone at RFS. There must also be further scrutiny into the effectiveness of the RFS policies and actions in addressing serious issues of this nature in the future.

PSA Actions and Commitment to Resolving the Issues

Over the past 12 months, the PSA Industrial Officer, supported by your delegates, has consistently raised concerns about bullying. The PSA has emphasised the necessity for effective leadership and policies to prevent bullying and, equally important, to address cases promptly. A crucial aspect highlighted by the PSA is the need for all volunteers to undergo mandatory training that is pertinent to fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace environment. These efforts underscore the PSA’s commitment to promoting a culture that values the well-being and dignity of all individuals within the RFS.

In recent months, the PSA has gathered anecdotal evidence indicating instances of significant bullying perpetrated against multiple members across the RFS. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the PSA strongly encourages all staff to report any cases of bullying with confidence, utilising any of the available reporting mechanisms provided below. This proactive approach aims to create an environment where individuals feel empowered to speak up, fostering a culture that prioritises the well-being and safety of everyone within the organisation.

Reporting Bullying (Internally) (ref. SS 1.1.42 Respectful and Inclusive Workplace)

Bullying is a work health and safety issue, and the PSA encourages all members to report all cases of bullying via:

Reporting Bulling to the Union

The PSA is committed to supporting RFS attempt to change the culture of bullying within the agency,

If you have not received an adequate and timely response or feel unable to report the bullying internally, please contact your PSA delegate or log your issue with the PSA Member Support Centre by calling 1800 772 679.

RFS Delegates

Jim Killen                           

Ivan Perkins                      

Bradley Stewart              >

Daniel Ainsworth           

Jillian Butler                     

Mark Casper                   

Bruce Hansen                 

Benjamin Plummer:     

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