CODE 2, VOL 30, NO 30 : 07 july 2016

On Thursday 7 July 2016 Mr Bill Byrne, Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services issued a statement to your union in support of FCO's and the retention of their employment.

The statement reads –

Recent speculation in Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has contributed to considerable uncertainty over the future of the roles and tasks within Communications Centres across the state.

As Minister, it is important that the government’s position is made crystal clear.

Under the Palaszczuk Government, there is no intention to accept job losses as part of any proposals.  It is reasonable that improvements in communications technology will allow different operating models and hopefully greater efficiency in terms of managing calls and communication within Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

I expect those dividends to be measured in terms of timeliness and responsiveness and not on bottom line salary savings. For me, the priority is more timely and efficient response and coordination within the service and not FTE savings. It’s about the customer, the people of Queensland.

Any measures to improve timeliness and responsiveness will be considered by Government with stakeholders and chief among those are members of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

It is my hope that matters are now clarified from government and that we can move forward providing a quality Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to Queenslanders.

We are thankful for the Minister taking the time to clarify the position of the Queensland Palaszczuk government, in that the savings expected from GWN are to be realised in better services to Queensland, and not in penny pinching by QFES.

Commissioner Carroll's statement to rural bush fire brigades

On Tuesday 5 July 2016, the QFES Commissioner made a statement to rural bush brigade crews.

In the statement, your Commissioner says -
'...there will be no closures of any communications centres...that is not negotiable.'.

I am sure all FCO, professional and auxiliary members of the UFUQ welcome this undertaking from the Commissioner.

Open and consultative approach

Your Union has written to the QFES requesting detailed information on current rostering, staffing and employment numbers.

Once we get a true picture of the current FCO staffing model, we can work with QFES to get the staffing numbers right, and to maximise permanent employment and appointments to rank.

We can then move forward in a proper and rational way to make sure that any future 'Gateway' model has been appropriately developed and implemented in a consultative way and is working properly.
I will, as always, keep you fully informed as the matter progresses.

John Oliver - State Secretary