The Union understands that the Fire Service has been instructed by government to directly address the matter of absenteeism.
Apparently levels of absenteeism in the Fire Service are the highest in all of the various arms of the State Sector.
Consequently the Fire Service has commenced a Project to develop a nationally consistent Absence Management Policy.
The Union has a concern to ensure that any such Policy is fair, non-punitive and properly targeted.
The Union has reached an agreement with the Fire Service which establishes the overarching principles to be adopted. The Statement emphasises that:
- The intention is to assist Firefighters;
- Privacy issues are respected;
- That Collective Agreement provisions must be adhered to.
As well, the Fire Service has accepted that if an outcome of the implementation of the Absence Management Policy is an increased role for Officers, this will be taken into consideration as far as remuneration rates are concerned.
It is important for members to understand that whether or not the Union and Fire Service have agreed to this overarching agreement, the Fire Service is required to address the issue of absenteeism.
The Agreement with the Fire Service allows mitigation of the Fire Service’s approach, establishes important principles and provides for recognition of any increased role into remuneration rate.