The Union is aware that a number of members have received letters from Area Management expressing concern at levels and patterns of absences/use of sick leave.

Quite simply, these letters are nothing more or less than a crude attempt at bullying and harassment.

Without exception, the sick leave usage is well within Collective Agreement entitlements.

Often the figures quoted by Area Management are incorrect and the letters detail a crude threat of raising questions about the worker’s ability to work as a firefighter, and go on to threaten referral to the Principal Medical Officer – Medical Boarding.

The letter goes on to propose a meeting with Area Management to respond to management’s concerns about sick leave usage. Maybe Area Management has plenty of spare time.

In any event, meetings are nothing more than a “fishing expedition” and consequently should not  be attended. Quite why anyone should want to discuss their sick leave usage/personal circumstances with Area Management is somewhat of a mystery.

The letter also advises that a response in writing can be provided as an alternative to a meeting.

The Union therefore recommends that a written response be provided along the lines of:

  • Thank you for your concern regarding my sick leave usage;
  • My usage is well within Collective Agreement entitlements;
  • If the figures used are incorrect, then correct them;
  • Express your clear contention that you have no concerns regarding your ability to work as a firefighter;
  • Advise that if Area Management has any future concerns regarding any sick leave usage please contact and deal through my Union.

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