Collective Agreement Negotiations
6 days of negotiations were completed on 9 February with the Union putting a final position to Fire Service negotiators to take back to the Commission.
The key elements of the position include:
- A base pay increase.
- Better recognition for Driver qualifications.
- Improvement in Officer margins.
The Union was advised that the Commission will meet on 21 February and a further meeting of the negotiating teams will be held subsequently.
Supreme Court Appeal - Days In Lieu
Papers seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court were lodged with the Supreme Court on 9 February. Further documentation both in support of the initial application and in response from the Fire Service will be filed in the next few days and a hearing date set after that occurs.
The seeking of leave to appeal is based on the various grounds that such leave can be sought:
- The interests of justice require a hearing.
- It is a matter of general and public importance.
- A substantial miscarriage of justice may have occurred.
- It is a matter of general commercial significance.
Uncertified Sick Leave
In conjunction with the C.A. negotiations, discussions have taken place over the interpretation of the Sick Leave provisions of the C.A. As a consequence, the Fire Service has now agreed that the Sick Leave provision does mean what the Union believed it meant since the change in the wording from 1 July 2006. Specifically that any unused Sick Leave taken without a Medical Certificate is accumulated forward up to a maximum of 20 days.
For example - a firefighter with a Sick Leave balance of 20 days takes in a year 10 days Sick Leave, one day without a certificate. That firefighter accumulates to the next leave year 10 days Sick Leave including the 4 untaken days available without a certificate.
On the commencement of the new leave year that firefighter has available 9 days that can be taken without a certificate (subject to the standard criteria).
The Fire Service has agreed that this interpretation apply from 1 July 2006 and any necessary corrections to Sick Leave records will be made in the next couple of weeks.
Any member who believes their Sick Leave entitlement ought to be corrected should check their records to ensure that they have been properly corrected.
A variation to the Collective Agreement to provide total clarify of what was intended will be made.