1. Days in Lieu Court Case
Some 13 weeks after the completion of argument in front of a full bench of the Employment Court, the Union still awaits the determination of the Court.

The lengthy wait is somewhat unusual and frustrating, but we all simply have to wait until that determination is delivered.

2. P.C.A. Assessments
P.C.A. Coordinators from around the country met recently to review the undertaking of the initial P.C.A. and to hear planning for the next.

At that meeting it was agreed that the next P.C.A. would be completed in the 2005/2006 year and “where possible, regions should aim to complete the PCAs by 31 March 2006 as a goal”.

However, the Whole Country e-mail of 11 August regarding the commencement of the 2005/2006 P.C.A. advises: “All assessments completed by 31 March 2006 or where
exceptional circumstances apply, no later than 30 June 2006.”

Clearly there is a contradiction between the two statements. As far as the Union is concerned, and the P.C.A. Coordinators themselves, the target for completion is expressed as a goal where possible to be completed by 31 March 2006.

The Union has raised the contradiction with the Fire Service and will ensure that the agreed position will apply.

3. Issue of Beanies
Success for the Union’s position. As part of the discussion of the new Draft National Dress Code, the matter of the provision and wearing of Beanies was an extremely contentious issue.

The Union’s submission that Beanies are appropriate and ought to be able to be worn in cold weather met with extreme resistance from Fire Service management. To the Union,
this opposition appeared to be based on nothing much more than simple prejudice. The Union persisted with its submission concentrating on obvious Health & Safety issues.

The Union is now advised that the new Dress Code will now include the following provision:
“The Fire Service issue beanie may be worn for routine and operational duties and operational incidents where low temperatures or inclement weather makes their use appropriate. Where a helmet is required then the beanie may be worn under the helmet except when staff are actually engaged in fire fighting. When appropriate Officers in Charge may direct that the beanie can be worn without a helmet”.

The Union therefore welcomes this sensible change in the position of Fire Service management in the face of unanswerable Union submissions.

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