Part 4 – Minimum 3 Hour Payment For Call-Outs

Arising out of a dispute in the Southern Region and concerning on-call roster arrangements for Fire Safety Officers, Southern Region management decided that Part 4 (Black Watch workers) were not entitled to a minimum 3 hour payment for any call-outs.

Along with the on-call roster arrangement, this minimum 3 hour payment issue is in Dispute and initial mediation is scheduled for Tuesday 9 March.

The Collective Agreement is very clear as to what is to happen when any matter is put into dispute:

“Clause 1.9(i) Peace Obligation – It is agreed that no worker shall discontinue or impede normal work, either totally or partially, because of any matter that is the subject of the observance of this procedure, and the employer shall ensure that the circumstances which prevailed in each brigade prior to the matter becoming subject to this procedure shall be maintained until the dispute has been resolved”.

It is a fact – confirmed by Larry Cocker, Manager HR Services/Employment Relations – that most Regions were paying a minimum 3 hour payment for call-outs prior to the Dispute.

However, he will not agree that this minimum payment must continue until the Dispute is resolved. His actions are a clear and blatant breach of the Collective Agreement.

The Union has consequently advised the Fire Service that if the Fire Service will not honour their obligations as in the Peace Obligation, the Union similarly feels no need to honour its obligations.

The Committee has discussed this matter and has unanimously resolved:
That as a result of the Fire Service’s refusal to abide by the Peace Obligation and maintain a minimum 3 hour payment for call-outs in brigades where such a payment was being made prior to the dispute arising, the Committee instruct Black Watch members to return pagers immediately.

All Black Watch Workers are therefore instructed to return pagers to their respective management until the Fire Service agrees to comply with their obligations as detailed in the Peace Obligation.

State Services Survey – Integrity & Conduct In The Workplace

The Union has been told that the Fire Service has agreed to be one of the organizations to participate in a survey for the State Services Commission – State Services Integrity & Conduct Survey 2010.

Apparently all members will receive this Survey sometime in March. The Union has not been consulted over members’ participation in this Survey. There is no indication of any benefit for members in taking the time and effort to complete the Survey.

Consequently, the Union Committee recommends to members not to participate in the Survey.

Catch-Up Work – Purchase Card Statements

In at least some Areas, managers are attempting to pressure Purchase Card holders to complete paperwork related to Purchase Card use that occurred during the strike. This paperwork is no different from any other paperwork not done during the period of the strike and similarly, is not to be caught-up.

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