Close examination of the recent further demand from the Fire Service for the repayment of an alleged over-payment of the Officership Allowance is absolutely necessary 

The Union has sighted one such letter, which contains the following extraordinary details:

Backdate Payment paid on 26 September            Overpayment made (arrears)    

Contract  Arrs O/Time/ALL (Total Backpay Payment  paid - consists of 1
 and 2) 


1. Other Allowance Backpay e.g. Overtime, other allowances)



2.Officership Allowance
Backpay Paid






Correct
Officership

Allowance (i.e  what should have been paid)

Amount of Officership
Allowance    
Overpaid




Tax on
Officership
Allowance
Overpaid




Nett Over
Payment






$100314  $100314  $100314  $100314  $100314  $100314  $100314 

Obviously this is at the least, extremely confusing.

How does $100314 plus $100314 equal $100314?

If the Officership Allowance paid was $100314, and the correct Officership Allowance was $100314, how come $100314 was overpaid?

Isn’t 100% income tax somewhat excessive?

How would anyone be convinced after this outline that $100314 was overpaid?

However, from the four options (the Fire Service add them up to three options) the Fire Service kindly provide to repay the alleged overpayment it is clear that the Fire Service believes this officer was overpaid $100314.

And that causes a few other problems:

Option 1 – A one-off payment of $100314 from a selected Pay Day. Presumably you would need to pick a Pay Day that includes a fair bit of overtime.

Option 2 – A fortnightly regular deduction with a minimum of $30 per fortnight. Not a bad option, but it will take almost 129 years for the $30 per fortnight to repay the money.

It seems to the Union somewhat unlikely that anyone, no matter how fit and healthy they might be could reasonably expect to work for a further 129 years.

Option 3 – Cease payment of the Officership Allowance until full recovery has been made. About as much use as Option 2.

Option 4 – Deduct the amount from the PCA payment. Obviously the PCA payment this year is going to be somewhat larger than expected – by around 7000%

So the total letter demanding repayment is a complete and total joke and given the alleged over-payment is totally the fault of the Fire Service, the Union believes some care and checking of this last correspondence was absolutely essential. The Union supposes it may only be a coincidence that the officer in question has a Brigade Number 100314 – if not then he is obviously lucky his Brigade number doesn’t start with 5.

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