Industrial Action

People on Rehabilitation/Alternative/Light Duties

As noted in NTM No. 33 – 2 August, one of the employer’s retaliation measures is to effectively cancel all Rehabilitation/Alternative/Light Duties arrangements. This measure, attacking the most vulnerable (many of these injured in the line of duty), should be condemned by any right thinking person.

The logic (as explained in the Employer’s Guidelines) is the “inability for the employee to fulfil their obligations regarding rehabilitation plan/agreed duties and limited availability of direct supervision”.
Quite what “limited availability of direct supervision” means is a complete mystery.

In any event however, whether or not any person on Rehabilitation etc. can fulfil their obligations regarding their Rehab. Plan is a matter for individual consideration and determination. It would necessitate a specific and individual consideration of every individual’s personal circumstances. The employer does not intend to do this, showing clearly that their logic is completely disingenuous and a lie.

The Union advises all members on Rehabilitation/Alternative/Light Duties to attend work as per normal. If the employer wishes to cancel or terminate your agreed Work Plan then they must do this formally and advise you formally. A verbal instruction is not sufficient. You should therefore stay at work until and unless you receive formal notice (in writing) advising that the employer has unilaterally cancelled/terminated your Rehab Plan. Please advise a Branch official when and if this occurs.

Intimidation/Harassment/Bullying by the Employer/Management

Expect this to happen – however, you are taking Lawful Industrial Action.
Any instance of such behaviour by the employer/management must be reported to a Branch official immediately.

Where to now?

With the assistance of the Mediator (at the Mediation on 21 July), there was general agreement for further mediation/negotiations in around 4 week’s time from that date. If either party has anything new to table (and the ball is in the employer’s court), then a meeting can be held earlier as and when necessary.

Given the importance of the re‐negotiation of the Collective Agreement and the significance to Firefighters and the Fire Service, the Union would hope, and suggests, that Mike Hall needs to take a real interest in the dispute and actually attend and participate in the negotiations – rather than relying on 2nd hand reports of what happened.

We know Mike Hall is finishing up at the end of the year, but until then, he needs to be reminded he should still act to demonstrate he is earning the (around) $360,000 wage. He hasn’t retired yet. The Union would see that Mike Hall‘s attendance would be a clear sign of the employer bargaining in good faith and a wish to see the dispute resolved.

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