CODE 2, VOL 30, NO 34 : 03 AUGUST 2016

Parliamentary committee recommends Bill proposing return of PSBA functions to QFES be passed

On 2 August 2016, the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee (the LACSC) of the Queensland Parliament published its report on the ‘Public Safety Business Agency and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016’.

You will recall that at the time, I communicated to you in many Code 2's about your union’s rejection of the Keelty suggestion to create the PSBA, and the previous state government’s rapid adoption of that suggestion and the hasty change to PSBA in 2013.

You will also recall that in 2013 your union obtained a written guarantee from the then opposition ALP to work with your union on their return to government to review and repair where necessary, the changes enforced on QFES during the previous term of the state government.

I was pleased to report to you in a Code 2 from December 2015 that Mr Bill Byrne, the Minister for Fire Service announced a review of the PSBA.

That review resulted in a Bill before the parliament proposing to restore many of the functions of QFES and your union made submissions to the LACSC supporting the return of functions to QFES.

Your union’s submissions to the parliamentary committee were heard and the LACSC has made a recommendation that the Bill be passed in its current form, meaning the return of many functions of the PSBA to QFES ought to be legislated in the near future.

You can find a copy of the LACSC report here.

I will report back to you once the debate on the Bill again goes through state parliament.

Certified agreement 2016 - state tour report

I met with many of you in visits to Firecom and fire stations in July 2016, where discussions were held about award modernisation and the upcoming negotiations for the next certified agreement.

President Larry Cullen also attended many meetings across the state.

In all, 18 meetings were held, including meetings in every region and at every Queensland Firecom.  I am pleased to report that the turn out to the meetings was strong and many positive discussions were held.

I thank your President Larry Cullen and your state industrial officers for their participation in many meetings within a short time-frame and I also thank the local branch and SCM representatives for organising members, venues, and on occasion, BBQ’s at the meetings.

We have been able to further refine our log of claims for the upcoming negotiations and as discussed, I will report the final log of claims to you in the near future, prior to providing it to QFES.

The initial meeting between your union and QFES is scheduled for Friday 5 August. We will not be presenting our log of claims at this first meeting, the meeting will simply be an opportunity to establish a plan for the negotiations, and for all of the representatives from both sides to meet each other.

Your union is keen to progress to resolution on the next certified agreement prior to 1 October 2016 (the nominal expiry date of the current determination).  Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, we have no reason to doubt that QFES would seek the same outcome and we look forward to holding positive negotiations with them.

I will keep you updated as the certified agreement process negotiations occur.

John Oliver - State Secretary