AUXILIARY UPDATE : 14 january 2021
2020 TRAINING NIGHT CALCULATION EXCLUDES COVID-19 AFFECTED PERIOD
As you will recall, in the period 16 March 2020 to 14 May 2020, QFRS instructed all auxiliary firefighters not to attend training nights due to mandatory shutdowns related to control of COVID-19.
During this period, there were nine (9) weeks where no auxiliary firefighter training nights were permitted.
I can confirm that following discussions with your union at the time, QFRS excluded those nine (9) weeks from the annual calculation of training night attendance for the purposes of accessing the retention allowance provided for at clause 15.4 (a, b & d) of the Auxiliary Firefighters’ Award – State 2016 (the award). An email confirming this was sent by QFRS to all regional Assistant Commissioners on 10 November 2020, advising that if regions were struggling with co-ordinating and managing these changes, they were to contact QFRS state HR for assistance.
For your information, for the 2020 calculations for you and your stations, QFRS will consider the maximum number of weeks that an auxiliary firefighter could have attended training for the year as 39, and in accordance with clause 15.4 (d), this means you will have had to have attended 75% of 39 weeks (29 weeks) to be eligible for payment of the allowance.
I expect that all regions have had ample time to co-ordinate the recalculation of entitlement and assessment of your eligibility for payment of the allowance, which the award requires is paid in February of each year (clause 15.4 (b)). I consider managing these changes to be a simple process and that you should be paid correctly should you be eligible.
However, if your local management see otherwise regarding your eligibility, or if February comes and goes and you believe you are eligible but have been denied payment, and have evidence supporting your claim and denial, contact the state office at [email protected] for assistance.
A copy of the award can be found here.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD